•• [um:’kü:] ••• [ˈmyü-zik] ••

Michaela Coetzee

Meet Michaela. This energetic 12-year old with a beautiful singing voice started smoking when she was age 5. She began using hardcore drugs at age 8. She lives with her mother and doesn’t know her father. In the past few months she watched her mother get raped in her own home and has had her first bath in over a year.

Michaela is one of the most musically-gifted children in a poor Cape Town slum where 30% of the residents have HIV/AIDS, 80% are unemployed, and the crime rate is one of the highest in the world. Thanks to The UMKULO Project, and the local Mobile Music Academy, she is now getting a music education and beginning to dream that her life is worth something. For the first time she truly believes she is loved and that she can achieve anything with hard work, practice and dedication.

For other stories of children, click here.

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