About Our Trip to Africa

collag4e.jpgIn May 2007, eight Music Therapy Students from Berklee College of Music are traveling to Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of this trip is to share the healing power of music in two orphanages in Kenya, Nyumbani and Shangilia. The orphans have been impacted by years of internal conflict, poverty and AIDS/HIV. Our Music Therapy group will visit with the orphans, and through our music, show them that we care. We are working as a group to establish an on-going and self-sustaining program in these orphanages that will utilize the skills of the local musicians as well as incorporate the clinical training that we have received at Berklee. We will also be bringing instruments and teaching the children to play, and of course, playing with them. The children and ourselves will be working and learning from one another musically, and there is no doubt in any of our minds that this trip will be transforming for all of us, personally and musically, as well as shape our professional directions in the music therapy field.



  1. MaryAnn said,

    Best wishes to you all!

  2. Tina Kuzio said,

    What a gift you all are bringing AND receiving to these children AND from these children. Having an adopted son who spent the first 3 1/2 yrs in an orphanage in Guatemala, I had multiply opportunities to visit and spend time with the children there….and oh how their eyes would light up to have visitors who were interested to play and spend time with them. Have a wonderful experience all of you and you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Tina (Beth’s aunt)

  3. Maria Mallon, Managing Director of Musicians for World Harmony said,

    JAMBO — This is wonderful! This is your first step in letting the world know about the brilliant future leaders you are all becoming. I am very proud of the work, time, attention and passion you all gave in the process of planning your trip to Kenya. You are all brilliant, strong stars in the sky of humanity and your light will shine on all who come in contact with you. As you all know, music is a healing source. It helped you all gain the strength and power to stand up to adversity and get you to where you will be traveling today. Music is the conduit by which you will share your talents, strengths, fears and compassion with the children of Nyumani and Shangilia, and they with you. Feel free to share happy and sad songs with the children. They will be sharing happy and sad songs with you. All forms of music heal!! Have a wonderful time and if you need anything while you are in Kenya, please feel free to send me an email. Mirembe (peace)

  4. Jon said,

    Good luck to all of you.

    Summer, I am so proud of you. You worked so hard to make this happen. I admire your determination and strength. You are such an inspiration to me and I know you will be to everyone you meet. You make me believe anything is possible and these children will believe too. I love you and I know its only two weeks, but I am gonna miss you so much. I already do.

  5. Jane Maestro-Scherer said,

    Welcome to Nairobi, everyone!

    Tell us stories! Can’t wait!


  6. Sheryl Sinkow said,

    Jambo all,

    I’m drinking a cup of Kenyan coffee as I write this. By now you’ve landed and settled in a bit. Have a fantastic time and please send my love and hugs to the kids. Can’t wait to hear your experiences.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Sheryl (photographer on the 2006 MWH trip)

  7. shirleybalestrier-vaudreuil said,

    Best wishes to the group from your supporters here at school and at the YWCA downtown. Becky, I remain in awe of your vision and strength. As you journey through the choices and challenges you bring into your life, I wish you safety and joy in your purpose. The postings are wonderful, and I look forward to hearing more as you go. Cheers! Mom

  8. Jane Maestro-Scherer said,

    Hello everybody!

    I was playing around and found, to my surprise, that this on-line journal is highlighted in the Berklee website! If you’re interested, the URL is:


    The on-line donation plea, your beautiful photos and short intros are also still up. Wow! This whole thing still confuses me.

  9. Polly Endreny said,

    Hi all — I’m so excited to see such a cool group of people returning to the places I had a chance to visit with Amanda and Samite last year. Amanda — congratulations on pulling this together. Tell the kids “Jambo” for me and give them my love!

  10. Carylbeth said,

    Hey everyone!
    just saw the blog for the first time – you must all be just buzzing with the excitement of all this! I can feel it in your writings and know that it must just be the most incredible experience ever. I t is so great to read eveyone’s experiences and thoughts and feelings – please keep writing. And I hope everyone is keeping their own personal account of all this as well – it will surely be something you’ll want to go back and read, hear, see, feel, and remember for the rest of your life. I cannot think of a better place to be for anyone who does the work we do – there is so much to learn from those who actually still get to live and breathe music in their everyday lives. And it sounds like music’s place in the bringing together of all souls and a true communal sense of being is right in front of you and all around you everyday there. What a beautiful thing that must be. So soak it all up, give and receive all that you can, and I hope that you will come back inspired to keep doing more of the same here. We all need it so desperately in this very strange world that we live in.

    so happy for you all – love and light to each of you – Carylbeth

  11. Sammy Lutomia said,

    I am originally from Kenya but I live in the states I relocated to join my beautiful American wife. Every time I hear or read stories about people visiting Kenya for the first time it just amazes me how each individual tries to explain what kenya is like gauging from the places they go and people they meet during their stay. I’m pretty sure everyone of them ends up saying the same thing but in different words.You guys are doing a very good job out there I know it takes courage to leave America and especially if the final destination is somewhere in Africa. Anyways I hope you will have lots of stories about Africa some good some not so good but above all you all traveled to Kenya to make a change!!! just singing with those kids and hanging out with them means alot to them it gives them hope they get that assurance that someone somewhere knows of their plight and is willing to help in any way that he/she can.
    Thanks for everything you are doing out there and above all thanks to your parents who encouraged you and were willing to let you go and restore hope in the orphans who had despaired and lost hope in life.Well enjoy your stay learn some swahili if you can see you at Berklee when you come back.
    Feel free to email me anytime.
    Asante sana
    One place you don’t want to miss while in Kenya is the Carnivore restaurant they serve all kinds of meat! game meat etc you will love it.

  12. Gary Brady said,

    Dear Summer,

    I am so very proud of you and your accomplishments. It makes my heart swell to think that you have carried on our love for music and have done so much to further the cause. As a former music teacher and jazz musician I know th feeling of transmitting music to the wonderful children and how that will come back to you in feelings and emotions that are unbelivable to describe. Your drive and ambition is the heart of our family. I love you maddly,
    Grandpa Gary

  13. Sheryl Sinkow said,

    Hi all! I wake up every day and head for the computer to read about your wonderful insights and incredible experiences. While I only know Amanda, I feel as though I’ve gotten to know each of you through your blog and appreciate reading your thoughts. Today I am driving to Andes, NY for a gallery opening of my exhibit Art/Soul/Africa – the images are similar to many of the things you have written about – I was with MWH 2006. Many of the kids will be there in spirit (at the gallery) on panels I had made and I will speak about all you have done and are doing – Thank you for sharing and be well. Mirembe….

  14. Tamar said,

    wow, wow, wow, and wow…
    i just watched the video of you guys singing `we are one` with the kids – and if they say a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth ten thousand.

    i have such feelings of pride and admiration for you, amanda, for your determination and hard work in continuing the journey you began last year on the MWH trip to Africa.

    i`m sorry to have been so out of touch (just got back from Brasil the other day!) and if I can, would still like to contribute (financially) to your efforts.

    btw, I might be headed to boston for a few months and would love to see you and catch up – lets keep in touch!

    beijos, tamar

  15. Kenneth Mulondo said,

    Just watched the video — we are one! It’s amazing……..there are no exact words to express the great feelings generated

    God bless you guys abundantly!

    Ken, Uganda

  16. Tamar said,

    ps, i cant wait to see the dvd you all are making..i smile to think of njeru working diligently to record your experience, as he did for our group last year…

  17. beson said,

    am glad music is the spring of life.on the day i went to shangilaia i expected the same place i left and honestly i was going to see my fellow musicians not the kids.I found life in the middle of a slum.I got to thinking how am in country and forgot about this kids……singing with them realizing they are hardly know how needy they are…..some had tales that would make hitler cry……thank you all that came for wakeing me and my boys philip and seamus(pentamony) to what is going on…………….lets al play our part in the world we can change it by the way with the greatest violence ever greated it called loving people,its called loving.

  18. thecelah ndagire said,

    words don’t come close to defining the spirit rooted in you. as an african am more than proud of you, may God cause you to sow on eagles’s wings. with your voices you have been an insipartion. speak out to hearts, speak out to nations, make a difference. what you have is a soothing breeze on a gentle sunny day.

    all the best.

    thecelah ndagire

  19. Freddie Ellis said,

    I am a New York City Public School Music Teacher and Music Therapist. I have to say that your video shows how music removes communication barriers between cultures and develops a sense of community.
    I recently attended a concert at Lincoln Center here in New York City, it was producted by the United Nations. There were muscians from all over the world playing together, the master of ceremony made a profound statement, “perhaps (music) does what the United Nations fails to do,”…bring nations together.

    best wishes,

    Freddie Ellis

  20. rushay said,

    Hi karen i am checking out you and your teams blogs,its beautiful how music connects us and how its become the voice of so many thats left voiceless through media.Being born and raised in South Africa was def a revelation on its own and we still dealing with what has happened.Music def gave me a sense of direction thats why i chose to place myself amongst art of all sorts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3py6sHJdnc

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