It's been a busy start to 2012 for Michaela, from songwriting ventures, to exciting travels, and some very special charity work. Take a look...
Songs for Queen's Jubilee and Olympic Games...
This past March, the Glasgow Education Department asked Michaela to work with a group of students at Pirie Park Primary School in Glasgow on a unique songwriting project for two important events happening this year: the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. The project was funded by Glasgow City Council Education Services.
It was the first time that the children and teachers had attempted songwriting and they felt that Michaela was an ideal partner to help bring the students' ideas to life. Through this excellent collaboration, they have produced two songs of which they are extremely proud. As part of the project, the children recorded at the prestigious Riverside Studios where they were treated like real pop stars! Not only did they record an amazing CD which will be released on June 22nd, but they also produced two memorable music videos to go along with the songs. The Queen herself will be receiving a copy of the CD! You can check out both of these songs and watch the students in their spirited performances:
Celebrate (for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee) with the Primary 5/4 students:
Taking Part (for the Olympic Games) with Primary 6 students:
Michaela in Uganda...
Wonder where Michaela has been? She just returned from a very moving trip to Uganda. As many of you know, Michaela’s adopted brother Frankie was Ugandan. Sadly, Frankie died in a house fire at 27 years old. Michaela had a long held dream to visit the country, and now with major literary interest in her novel, The Matoke Tree, which is partially set in Uganda, she felt it was time to go and fulfill that dream. But she didn’t want to go empty handed...
A few months back, she organized a "Baby Shower" in memory of her brother in support of theSanyu Babies Home in Kampala, Uganda. She raised almost £3,000 ($5,000 CAN) and filled three huge suitcases with much needed supplies, clothes, and toys to shower on the children.
When the orphanage replied to Michaela’s letter about making a donation, Michaela was astounded by their request. They wrote: "There are a couple of kids who need surgery, but we wonder if you would mind paying for some fire equipment?" It was the last thing Michaela thought they would ask for! They had no idea her brother died in a fire.
Michaela was delighted to oblige. She was able to install four fire extinguishers at the orphanage and bought loads of smoke detector batteries! With the generosity and support of Michaela's family and friends, the Sanyu Babies Home was also able to pay for surgery for Lawrence, one of the children who had a hernia the size of a coconut, and received a donation towards crucial inoculations against pneumonia – they lost five children to pneumonia last year.
Frankie and Michaela
Michaela is in the process of setting up something permanent to continue the much needed work in Uganda.
She writes: "I am looking into setting up a charity in memory of my brother called Star Childbecause that is what we called him. It would mainly concentrate on orphaned children because of my background with my brother. That is where my heart lies. If anyone is interested in helping out in any way, please contact me! We are having another fundraiser on September 22nd, Frankie’s birthday. Please let myself or Shawna know if you would like to help with donations, contributions, holding a fundraiser, or if you have any other ideas. I am open to suggestions! My friend in New Zealand just put on a fundraiser for us by hosting a British Tea party! Way to go Caterina! My sincere thanks to my friends and family for their support with the Baby Shower! I could not have done this without you – especially Rony for agreeing to go with me! Your donations and time changed lives. Thank you, thank you!"
Michaela has put together a "small" album of the many thousands of pictures she took while she was in Uganda. You can check the photos out HERE. We hope you will take time to look at them. A short documentary film is going to be made with the film footage and pictures – so stay tuned!
Michaela says: "Uganda was the most amazing experience of my life – beats singing at the Cannes Film Festival any day!"
Don't forget, you can purchase Michaela's CDs from anywhere in the world through CDBaby: