Her album "Knocking on the Shore" raised $20,000 for World Vision's Child Rescue Program. This program helps protect children from situations of child labour and slavery, living on the street, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and other harmful situations. Watch their 1 minute video. You can read about human trafficking here. World Vision work with authorities and businesses to uphold laws, help children get to school, catch up on their education, and help parents earn an income so their children don't have to.
Recently I had the priviledge to ask Ezereve some questions about her fundraising, music and about reading books to her children.
In my family there is my hubby Dan who builds houses, daughter Ashleya (11) who has a lip balm business and is learning to play the drums, my son Kale (9) who is planning a business where he sells chicken eggs and is learning to play the cello, Jewel (7) who has started a business where she designs cards online to sell and wants to be a singer, and Elijah (4) who is obsessed with motorbikes and has a drum kit in his room.
2. Did you always want to be a singer? Where do you get your inspiration from to write your songs?
I've always loved singing since I was a child and knew I wanted to have a musical career when I was in high school. I get inspiration from other people's stories and my own experiences.
3. How did you get involved with World Vision’s Child Rescue Program? Please tell us about the program and your music that supports it.
I started fundraising for World Vision from childhood through the 40 hour famine. As an adult I was shocked to learn about human trafficking, the buying and selling of human beings, and wanted to do something about it. I then discovered that World Vision Child Rescue funds went towards helping this cause, so it just seemed like a natural progression to fundraise for World Vision Child Rescue. The funds help kids who are at risk of trafficking. For example when I went to Cambodia with World Vision, some of the funds gave a homeless father of eight some small business training. I visited this man's house and he told me his kids no longer had to scavenge on the streets, and that they were in school instead. I also visited the Street Kids program, where I met orphans living on the street who begged for survival, and the World Vision staff regularly fed the children, clothed them, and knew everything about them including their names, ages, family situations and even what they wanted to be when they grew up. One of the street kids wanted to be a doctor. Some were as young as about eight, living without parents on the street, without any government assistance. It was beyond heartbreaking!
It makes me realise how lucky I am to even be able to raise my own kids. I mean some of the parents of the street kids were in jail. Imagine being locked up, and wondering if your little kids were still alive on the street! It also makes me realise how lucky my kids are to just be able to go to school, and how lucky we are to have a government that helps vulnerable children. It just makes me so grateful, and motivated to always remember those courageous kids and do what I can to help them, even if it's just through my music.
5. Do your children like books and reading? What kind of books do you read to them?
YES! We have a family of bookworms. I think this is because we limit screen time so much. For example in the last school holidays, I think my kids watched two movies at home, and the rest of the time was screen free time. When there aren't so many screens distracting them, it makes them want to read. We also visit the library regularly and have done so since they were babies. I don't read to my older kids anymore, they are too cool for that now! Ashleya loves books the most, and through her lip balm business she donates $2 from each sale to go towards Big Brother Mouse charity, who publish books for kids in Laos, where many kids have never even seen a book before! She has read the whole Harry Potter series and loved it. Kale reads chess books constantly. Jewel loves Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton books at the moment, plus how-to art books. Elijah loves Grug books, and of course, books about motorbikes. My favourite books for kids that I've come across are the Value Tales series.
6. Did you have a favourite book as a child?
As a young child I loved the Jane Hissey books about Old Bear and his friends. In upper primary school I loved Judy Blume books and Margaret Clark books. I also loved the Secret Garden.
7. Are you releasing any new songs soon?
I do intend to release some more songs to fundraise more for Child Rescue, and am trying to convince my builder husband to build me a recording studio at our place, so I can record it myself! Watch this space! In the meantime I'm performing at weddings and events and donating 10% from my bookings to Shalom House Rehabilitation Centre in the Swan Valley, while I wait for the next album to happen. Watch this space :)