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World Premiere of "Help Yourself" by learners from Gardens Commercial High School in Cape Town

With its mEDley Music program continuing to scale, the David Z Foundation recently made the decision to expand it to schools around the world.

In assessing its future goals, DZF has understood the need to cover a wider ground. In the process of figuring out how to accomplish that, the foundation realized that a partnership could be an effective step towards extending its reach worldwide. An ideal partner was found in Donna Guerin at Global Lighthouse Studios. With a network of over 40 schools across the globe, Donna was already writing programs as well as working with different partners on developing others. Donna connected DZF with Jasmane Frans of Globally Empowered and T4 Education. Bringing their combined experience into the mix, the new partners collaborated on programs co-designed with schools in different countries, the first collaboration being the song “Time to Be Well” and its accompanying video made with the students of Athwood Primary School in Cape Town, South Africa. Following DZF's mission to transform lives through the magic of music, the song teaches youth about wellness in mind and body.

When DZF and Global Lighthouse Studios' planned a second collaboration, they were able to take their experience to Buenos Aires. The song and video for “No Más Pobreza” was written with the students of the Modern School andaddressed the significant and timely crisis of poverty.

It was after the “No Más Pobreza” project wrapped that DZF realized the production logistics were too plentiful and complex for the foundation to be able to simply relay instructions to crews overseas with effective results. For their third song/video collaboration, DZF leaders Paulie Z and Daniel Roeder journeyed to Cape Town to film “Help Yourself,” a song focusing on barriers to education, mental health and sustainable development. The song was important in addressing the uncertainty and doubts faced by high schoolers over their futures and their potential.

The production process for “Help Yourself,” which included writing sessions

that took place after school, was followed a day later by a concert put on by the students. For one of the production elements of the shoot, DZF looked to feature the entire school in a single shot. While proving to be a logistical challenge, the school staff was incredibly supportive in making it happen, led by the encouragement of business teacher and musician Deon Ryck, administrators Dylan Tommy and Chantal Chavda, and global-changemaker Jasmane Frans.

In going on-location to the video shoot, DZF was able to develop an infrastructure for how the foundation could work on future international video shoots in person. Through Global Lighthouse Studios, DZF found an impactful way to address sustainable development initiatives through access to her educational partners. The foundation will use its experience on its shoot in South Africa to better provide hands-on assistance, ensuring smoother production process on pojects with schools worldwide.

The premiere for “Help Yourself” will be Saturday, November 19 at at 10 AM PST, 1 PM EST and 8 PM SAST.


“Time to Be Well”

“No Más Pobreza”

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