Friday, July 28, 2017

Orphanage Teens Learn to Express Themselves Through DJing #WATWB

Welcome to July's installment of the We Are The World Blogfest, where we share positive stories on the last Friday of each month. The basic rules are:
  • Keep the post below 500 words. 
  • Link to a human news story that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood and share an excerpt.
  • No story is too big or small as long as it goes beyond religion and politics.
Thank you to this month's WATWB co-hosts:  Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanInderpreet Uppal, Damyanti Biswas and Sylvia Stein. 

I previously wrote a couple of times about the Olon Orphanage (here and here). It is one of the happiest places I know. I love spending time there.

I was thrilled to see this story in the Huffington Post. Cynthia Cherish Malaran (DJ CherishTheLuv), a breast cancer survivor, recently spent three weeks in Ecuador. She was introduced to the orphanage by Erwin Musper, who works tirelessly to improve lives at the orphanage.

Cynthia came to teach young girls how to DJ. From the article:
“Actually, I taught these young teens how to express themselves creatively and loudly, under the guise of DJing. These girls have been traumatized. Silenced. Teaching them how to express themselves gives them the green light to ask for what they want. To say ‘no!’ To ask for a raise at work. It can change their life. Even save their life. I went there thinking I had something to teach them. But actually, they taught me… I came back a few days ago,” Cynthia reports, “and I was looking at all these sad, unhappy faces here in our awesome New York City, and I was so confused. I came back and realized we have everything. We have everything and yet, we’re not happy. The girls at the orphanage have the bare minimum, yet they are so happy. Why? Because they have each other.”


Cynthia teaching DJ techniques
Image from Huffington Post



Later in the article:
“I packed my portable Pioneer mixer, thinking ‘OK, I’m going to gift these kids ME,’” Cynthia laughs. ... And then you realize it’s you who has the deficits, and they gift you so much knowledge, understanding, eye-opening love. I think in the past 2.5 weeks, I’ve gotten hugged more than in the past two years.”

Cynthia shares how teaching the girls– products of rape, abuse, neglect, subject to silencing– how to express themselves was profound in so many ways. “I don’t speak Spanish; they don’t speak much English, but music is the universal language, and rhythm transcends words. The kids had never heard a song sped up or slowed down before, they were totally shocked! I didn’t want to teach them how to be a DJ, but how to express, how to experiment, how to feel free.”

Cynthia with some of her DJ students
Photo from Huffington Post
Cynthia and Erwin made a wonderful 30 minute video about the orphanage. You can view it here.

20 comments:

  1. Cynthia is a wonderful, caring person. I love her technique in getting them to open up through music and by learning how to be a DJ. So creative!

    Thanks for being part of #WATWB and sharing this story.

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    1. She sure is and I love her technique, too. Thanks for stopping by Mary!

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  2. How creative, I really like the idea. I wouldn't be able to do it of course but I like the idea that others can ☺

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    1. I would not be able to either, Miss Andi, but I love that she did :)

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  3. Oh what a fabulous heart-expanding story!

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  4. I love your updates on this orphanage, Emily! May these girls be blessed--- and this woman's journey and the time spent with these girls is remarkable!

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  5. Just another wonderful person doing good things for people in such a creative project. Thanks Emily. :)

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  6. Great post, Emily. Thank you for sharing this uplifting story. it is always great to hear about good things going on in the world. It gives us hope.

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  7. Hi Emily - I'm listening to the video ... amazing story line - and yes those kids have found some wonderful mentors - yet those who come from the first world ... benefit much more - because of the input of the kids and the amount they are learning ...

    I love Erwin's ideas for the orphanage ... and great seeing Cynthia there ... it's wonderful to see here - thanks so much for sharing all this with us ... amazing to read about the Orphanage and to see the video ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you for watching the video Hilary. Erwin gives much more information there and explains the orphanage projects in detail. Seeing Cynthia interact with the kids is wonderful.

      You are right, those who come from the first world benefit in ways they could not fully understand until they arrive. The first time I spent time there, I knew it was a place I would return to many times.

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  8. Fantastic that these kids are given a chance by programs like this. Hopefully it goes from strength to strength. I nominated you for the Liebster award. Congrats! Details are at my blog.

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    1. Thank you Nick! My first award :) Very exciting! I will write my acceptance post soon.

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  9. It seems that any revisit to this orphanage is rewarding, Emily. And to have them DJing, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

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    1. You are right Simon, it is such a rewarding experience. I am thrilled that Cynthia thought to bring her DJ equipment for her visit. Thanks for visiting.

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  10. I love this story about empowering young women. Thanks for visiting my blog during the #WATWB
    Mary at Play off the Page

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