Capri Everitt’s claim to fame may be singing 80 national anthems in 80 countries, but her real achievement is empowering kids around the world.
By Sarah Fox
Photography By Johann Wall
Capri Everitt uses her voice as a tool for a change. This 12-year-old singer’s goal? Improve the lives of children and unite people globally.
Between November of 2015 and August of 2016, the Vancouver youth travelled to 80 countries. By the tour’s end, she had sang 80 national anthems in each country’s respective national language, all the while raising money for her charity of choice: SOS Children’s Villages International, an NGO dedicated to protecting the rights and needs of children across the globe.
For Capri, it all goes back to the cause. As for what first stirred her passion for change-making: look to WE. After her parents picked up The World Needs Your Kid: How to Raise Children Who Care and Contribute by Craig Kielburger, Marc Kielburger and Shelley Page, things at home started to change. Together, as a family, they read about the stark reality children face around the world; together they learned what other youth—many Capri’s age—were doing to change this for the better and together they would help support this global effort.
“I read about kids who were using whatever they loved to do to make a difference—they were helping kids who did not have any parents, kids who had to pick up needles behind a hospital to get enough money for water to drink and food to eat,” Capri recalls. “This knowledge inspired me to make a difference.”
Soon after finishing the book, Capri and her family initiated an action plan—a plan that would require her to learn a plethora of national anthems in 41 different languages. They called it “Around the World in 80 Anthems.”
Behind this ambitious project was simple sentiment. “My favourite cause above all is helping kids,” Capri notes. “Kids who have been enslaved and work long hours for very little money for their families and kids who don’t have families and are left to fend for themselves at very young ages.”
And while “Around the World in 80 Anthems” most certainly supports this effort, it also amplifies another worthy cause: multiculturalism.
So, in addition to each performance working toward raising funds for orphaned and vulnerable children, every day of Capri’s nine month journey was also committed to her and her family getting to know each country’s culture, its people and (particularly for Capri) its language. From the first anthem onward, Capri’s tour was about raising awareness around the importance of accepting and supporting people of all cultures.
“Around the World in 80 Anthems” ended last August with Capri singing “O Canada” at a Blue Jay’s game in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, the country’s biggest anthem venue. Having stood in front of so many audiences—from small to gigantic—Capri has gained the courage to speak up. Now, she is using her voice to talk to students about her experience through speaking engagements. She’s visited 15 different schools in the Toronto and Ottawa region, already.
Capri’s talent is a testament to the beauty of multiculturalism. Read on to learn why she thinks Canadians can make the world a more peaceful place by thinking globally.
Why is “we” stronger than “me?”
A group of people coming together to make a difference is much stronger and more impactful than just one person. We should stop focusing on ourselves and start thinking about what will make the world a better place for us.
What is the kindest action you’ve been on the receiving end of, and what about the gesture touched you personally?
I met a girl in Croatia named Niki. She had been abandoned by her mother, along with her younger brother and sister. Niki was nine years old and a very kind and compassionate person. I was only in this part of Croatia for a very short time, but Niki, despite our language barrier, was determined to make friends with me. Right when I was about to leave, she gave me a hug, a card she made and one of her favourite stuffed animals. What touched me about this gesture was the fact that Niki had very few possessions, and this stuffed animal meant the world to her.
Fill in the blank: Moving forward into the next 150 years, our country needs [blank] in order to build a caring and compassionate Canada.
More awareness of other people’s cultures.
I believe that if we try to learn more about other cultures we could make the world a better and more peaceful place. Canada is filled with people who have come here from other countries, and we should embrace our differences, rather than being afraid of them.
Describe the core values of your ideal Canada.
In my opinion, the ideal Canadian is someone who is selfless; someone who thinks about the way other people live around the world and who appreciates all of the privileges that many people around the globe do not have.
What’s one action you would like people to take in order to build a better country?
I don’t think that there is just one action people could take in order to build a better country, there are many actions. It starts with the knowledge that they can change in the world.
Take the pledge and help build a more caring and compassionate Canada.
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