survivor girl ukulele band project: bringing restoration and hope to survivors of human trafficking through the healing power of music and love.
the problem of human trafficking in india and bangladesh is the result of so many injustices in society that it can be overwhelming. what can one person possibly do?
what i can do is bring a bunch of ukuleles to india and live and work inside a shelter home for rescued girls — girls who have been rescued from human trafficking and other vulnerable situations — and i can teach those girls how to play the ukulele.
these girls have suffered unimaginable trauma, and they have very little education, e.g. many cannot read or write. it is common for these girls to believe that they are worthless and that they are stupid and that they can’t learn.
so i meet them eye to eye, put a ukulele in their hands, and help them learn how to do something they never dreamed they could do. and in learning how to play ukulele, they also learn how to learn, they learn that they have a voice, and they learn confidence and empowerment through music.
the girls have not only performed in kolkata more than a dozen times, we recently released our very own cd: "survivor girl ukulele band -- volume one." it's a huge accomplishment for the girls on the cd and an inspiration to new girls.
my students have to work very hard to learn and achieve a minimum level of competence on the ukulele, but when they leave the shelter home, they go with their very own ukulele, a tuner, and a book of songs.
instead of going home with nothing, they go home with music and a skill to share.
no matter who they are or where they’ve been or where they will go, they now have the power of music to change their lives.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (October 2018)