Orphans From Around the World Join Each Other in Music and Film

Posted on August 07, 2008 by Deanna Wallace

The All As One orphanage, in Sierra Leone, West Africa, announces their involvement in a global creative project, linking orphans from around the world, while they create music and art together. A video of the project will be featured at the opening of the Elevate Film Festival, on October 5, at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Spanaway, WA (PRWEB) August 7, 2008 -- The All As One orphanage, in Sierra Leone, West Africa is excited to be participating in HearMe, a project providing orphans with the means to create music and film, and to connect with other orphans from around the world.

With the help of One Laptop Per Child and MagNet, HearMe will deliver 20 XO laptops, a Yamaha drum kit, a keyboard, a Mac computer, and a film crew to All As One, as well as orphanages in Iraq, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Puerto Rico, and Watts, California. The children will learn how to work with the equipment, and will create their own unique rendition of "Imagine," by John Lennon, in their native languages. They will be filmed by Shot in the Dark Films for a video that will be featured at the opening of the Elevate Film Festival, in Los Angeles, California, on October 5, with the theme of "All Tribes Unite!" This video will be used to promote the HearMe program, so that children all over the world will be able to experience the joy of making music and art.

There are an estimated 340,000 orphans in Sierra Leone, alone. The country is ranked last out of 177 countries evaluated by the United Nations, in an index comparing poverty, life expectancy, literacy, education, and other factors. All As One is dedicated to providing a home, medical care and an education to orphaned and destitute children of Sierra Leone, which can be a daunting task with no government-funded child welfare programs currently available in the country.

"The children in our care have suffered greatly in their short lives, but art and music are a vital part of their existence and happiness," says Deanna Wallace, All As One's founder and Executive Director. "This is something that the kids can never lose. It belongs to them. It's their voice."

Each orphanage involved in this video production will receive 20 XO computers, provided by One Laptop Per Child, for long-term use and development of their skills. The OLPC nonprofit organization, founded by Nicholas Negroponte, gives under-privileged children in developing countries the opportunity to learn via a computer designed to operate not only in their potentially remote environments, but also with their creative abilities in mind. The children can learn language and math skills, as well as animation, music, and graphic design.

MagNet, the creation of Dan Mapes and Gabriel Rene, is a new software program that enables the purchasing of any piece of music or video from any webpage on which it is displayed. This innovation allows artists to sell their own music, and enables anyone on the Internet to become a distributor of their favorite art. The HearMe website, made exclusively for the orphans involved in this program, will feature the MagNet technology, making it possible for the kids to sell the music they create.

The kids of All As One have already begun to practice their song, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the crew from Shot in the Dark Films, near the end of August. The final video, with combined footage from all of the orphanages involved, will open this year's Elevate Film Festival, founded by Mikki Willis, to encourage artists to create works of social and global importance. The festival sold out Hollywood's Kodak Theater last year, and will take place in the Nokia Theater this year, in front of 7,000 attendees. The HearMe project will not only benefit the lives of the orphans involved, but will spread a message of global unity.

For information about All As One, or their involvement with HearMe, contact them at info@allasone.org or 253-846-0815.

To learn more about the HearMe Orphan's Project, contact Executive Director, Shae D'Lyn, at sdlyn@mac.com or 917-355-0242.