"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Gotta love the wonders of the internet.

You've read in previous posts about a woman from the Netherlands who discovered the story of hearing impaired Moses (on this very blog) and who made it possible for him for receive donated hearing aids.

This same woman, Monique, will be traveling to the orphanage later this month! After a flurry of emails, some q & a, and the ironing out of some logistics, Monique will be spending her holiday (late July to late August) teaching music to the children at St. Mary Kevin. How lucky they are. How lucky she is!

It's time to introduce this special woman. I have never met her; we've only communicated online. But already she is a member of the Change the Truth family, and soon enough she will undoubtedly navigate her way into the hearts of the kids at SMK. Monique will not only help begin to teach the marching band members how to read music, she will introduce the recorder to younger kids, she will introduce her beloved saxophone to the band, and she will (if she can find a big enough box!) also introduce the tuba. She will also give the keyboard CTT purchased a good workout.

August will be the month of music at SMK. I am so grateful that Monique found us. There will be much more to come as she begins her month-long adventure - but for now - please meet Monique:

"Hi, my name is Monique Udo and I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I am a saxophone player and music teacher and the last 10 years I have dedicated myself more and more to music projects with children who grow up in less privileged circumstances.

I have worked in so called ‘black schools’ and with children in a centre for asylum seekers. It was there that I met very gifted children with a hunger for expressing themselves through music and dance. I loved working with them and started to realize fully how music can make a change for these children.

In December 2008 I accompanied my mother to Tulip Garden, an orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS in India. I took some flutes with me and for 10 days, I made music with the children: playing the flute, singing and drumming on buckets. After that, I knew I wanted to continue doing this. The joy that the music brought to this children and the eagerness they embraced it with was wonderful.

In 2009 I started the foundation “Muziek voor Kinderen” (Dutch for “Music for Children”). I organized a benefit concert with my Dutch pupils to raise money to buy instruments for the children in India, took a sabbatical from my job at the music school and went to Tulip Garden to stay there for four months. I bought keyboards, guitars, a saxophone, more recorders, melodica’s (blowing piano’s), and a small drum. I taught the children to play on the instruments and formed a music group of 18 children. With that group we give performances in other orphanages or hostels for children in the neighbourhood every time I’m there. I try to visit them at least once a year to keep them going. Luckily, I found a student who comes to teach keyboard every week, so now, after one year of playing the keyboard, some boys are playing the latest hits from the Indian movies!

Since I started these music projects, I’ve been searching the internet to find organizations who are doing something similar to what I’m doing. I came in contact with several organizations and orphanages where the children are brought up with music. I visited several of them and we are exchanging experiences, instruments and we help each other to realize projects.

When I came across the website of CTT during one of my surfing sessions, I immediately was very enthusiastic of what I read. I felt I would like to come over and give my share of changing the truth for the children at SMK. Soon after mailing with Gloria and Melissa it became clear to me that I would travel to Uganda in my summer holiday. From Melissa I got many good suggestions of which music activities could be done with the children so I know I will get busy over there. I’m looking forward to it!"

These are pictures from some of Monique's past projects. Soon we'll see our own kids in her photographs!

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