Operation: Ongoing

A teacher turned charitable hero of Operation Orphan shares the story of how she became such a selfless person.

By Charlotte Smyth | @Charlotteeimar

Throughout our lives we meet different people from different backgrounds. We connect with them, mature with them and become inspired by them. Inspiring someone is to not only make them feel hope, but also provide them with the momentum to push forward with this inspiration. Cyrilyn Moore is arguably one of the most inspiring and selfless charity owners in Nottingham. Cyrilyn is known in Nottingham for being the co-founder of Operation Orphan, a charity that helps young orphans in third world countries.

Growing up in a small village in South Wales, Cyrilyn describes her neighbourhood as somewhat “narrow-minded within their own community bubble”. When she was eight years old, her mother had a major “transformation” upon becoming a Christian, discontinuing her dependence on alcohol and no longer looking to unhealthy habits to function.‘It definitely was that religious connection and all of that that exposed me to a world outside of what I knew. My world was just sort of, you know, village life.’ 

Her charitable passion -surprisingly- did not always get the recognition it deserved. “I remember being in secondary school and on my first day they asked ‘what do you want to be when you are older?’ and people were saying ‘oh I want to be a fireman’ ‘I want to be a ballerina’. I said ‘I want to help orphans and she [her English teacher] mocked me in front of the entire class. ‘Oh you fancy yourself as Miss Hannigan (boss of the orphanage in Annie) do you?’ And said all of these unkind things. I remember coming home and being really upset.”

 “You don’t realise the difference you’ve made. It’s just one at a time instead of trying to take on the world and change everything.”

Cyrilyn Moore

After young Cyrilyn Moore began attending church with her mother, she heard the heartbreaking stories of children in a local African choir. She explains: “I sort of put myself in that position and could imagine what that felt like. I was heartbroken for them really, something really deep happened in me. It wasn’t that day that I decided that I wanted to help orphans but it was certainly a big factor.” It came as no surprise after hearing her mother’s religious awakening to hear that Cyrilyn’s biggest inspiration is Jesus much like everyone at Operation Orphan, Jesus strived to make a difference on marginalised groups of people.

Currently, Cyrilyn is enjoying juggling her three occupations: Co-Founder of Operation Orphan; owner and course leader for Cyrilyn’s Silver, and loving mother to four children. When asked what hobbies Cyrilyn enjoys, she talks about the silversmith course she took as it “was something I always wanted to do.” Combining her love of teaching with her silversmithing hobby. This soon became the successful business Cyrilyn Silver based in Beeston. As 100% of donations directed to Operation Orphan go towards helping people in need, this business helps support Cyrilyn and her family.

Explaining that there is always “more you can do looking at the enormity of the situation” Cyrilyn measures the charity’s progress one success at a time. ”If you help just one child, that’s made a difference to them right? You don’t realise the difference you’ve made. It’s just one at a time instead of trying to take on the world and change everything. If you’ve made a difference in their life, it’s worth it.” Within the next few years, Cyrilyn is hoping to travel to Africa to visit the children Operation Orphan is currently working with. Cyrilyn explained how she views the children she works with as her own.


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