August 2, 2015


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Teens turn trash into music to help South American slum

Teens playing instruments made from trash are coming to Canada to raise money for a better future.

Global Family Foundation is hosting a concert tour of The Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay with events in churches in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C. this month and next.

The world sends us garbage, but we send back music

–Favio Chavez, orchestra director

The tour will raise awareness and funds to build a Community Education Centre in Cateura, considered one of the poorest slums in South America, according to a news release from the Canadian Christian charity hosting it.

More than 2,500 families live directly by the landfill, picking garbage to find sellable or recyclable goods and turning trash into beautiful music.

The Recycled Orchestra has taken metal drums, oil cans, spoons, copper pipes, wire and bottle caps and turned them into cellos, violins, guitars and flutes.

A documentary crew posted an online trailer of The Recycled Orchestra last year that went viral.

Today, the Recycled Orchestra is making headlines around the world, including a recent feature on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

"The world sends us garbage, but we send back music," said Favio Chavez, director of the orchestra.

"People are starting to realize that you shouldn’t throw away trash carelessly. Now, they starting to realize that you shouldn’t throw away people either."

After meeting with families in Cateura, the Global Family Foundation said it has committed to co-invest with Cateura to build a Community Education Centre and start a scholarship fund so youth in the area have a have a chance to get a quality education.

It will act as a social hub in the neighbourhood, offering workshops and courses to families to improve education, family life and livelihoods. It will also have space for The Recycled Orchestra to practice and offer music classes for children interested in learning an instrument.

"This is about creating opportunity for an incredibly resourceful and resilient community that is living on the margins," Mike Duerksen from Global Family Foundation said in a news release.

All concerts are free of charge, with a freewill donation going toward the construction of the Community Education Centre and scholarship fund.

 

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