Through the arts, the KAKO Foundation is dedicated to promoting peace and tolerance. It is shaped in the belief that art can foster self-esteem, dignity, pride, community and civic engagement. Nurturing the artistic gifts in every child is essential to breaking and ending the devastating cycle of violence, exclusion and poverty. Music has the ability to rally entire communities into creating a harmonious environment. The KAKO Foundation seeks to provide a brighter future for the youth of Haiti and the United States.
The KAKO Foundation is dedicated to bringing art education to children and youth of Haiti and the United States; to provide an outlet for their creativity, enabling them to achieve their full potential.
The principal objective is to provide a positive, supportive and educational environment to underprivileged children within their community. Through music, the project will create opportunities for all children to achieve a healthy life style, by promoting cooperation, team spirit, self-confidence and respect for one another.
The KAKO Foundation is named after Kareem Xavier Gaspard, nicknamed Kako, “a sweet 16 year old Haitian boy who was kidnapped, tortured and assassinated on May 21, 2008 in his country. That sweet 16 year old boy loved family... Kako had another passion in his life: music. Indeed, he loved the trumpet and started playing that instrument that he picked himself at a very early age. He was convinced that music would allow him to obtain a scholarship to study abroad someday. Kako was the only boy the Sisters of the Sacred-Heard of Turgeau ever let join in their students’ band rehearsals. And for all intents and purposes, he became an honorary member of that band. He owes that honor to his dedication to music and to his work ethics. He also encouraged other kids in his community to play music too and even donated his first trumpet to one neighbor whose parents would not have been able to afford one”.
Extract from “An Angel took flight…” by Rudy Gaspard (Kako’s father)
Through the KAKO Foundation, the founders wish to celebrate Kako’s life and the life of all children who, like Kako, have been the innocent victims of atrocities. This is their “reply to violence: to make art in general more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."