Music for Life: African Children’s Choir to perform at Cornerstone Church on Dec. 12.Written by Logan Sander | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The African Children’s Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Cornerstone Church, 1520 S. Reynolds Road in Maumee. The choir is comprised of young African children who have been giving concerts across North America during the past 10 months.
The children will perform children’s songs and traditional spiritual and gospel songs at the free concert.
A free-will offering will be taken to support the organization and its programs.
The African Children’s Choir is a nonprofit relief organization aimed at helping African children. All funds raised by the choir go toward education, care and relief programs instituted by the organization for African children and their families.
The program stems from the parent organization Music for Life, which works to help families in seven different African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The organization focuses on education in order to create new leadership for Africa’s future. Music for Life has helped educate more than 52,000 children and reached out to more than 100,000 people, according to a news release.
The choir has been performing for 28 years, sending 40 individual choirs on tours all over the world, including places like Australia, Japan, Jamaica and Canada. The group performing in Toledo is giving about 200 concerts during its 16-month North American tour.
Catherine Wake, the tour leader, is one of the chaperones for the children, and helps ensure they remain happy and healthy. She first encountered the choir as a young girl, when her parents hosted a child from the choir in their home.
She decided to become involved once she heard about the choir again as an adult.
Wake said she recently received a teaching license, so she appreciates the organization’s focus on education and its role in the children’s lives.
“The organization itself has a real focus on education and that especially struck a chord with me. It’s really making a difference for these kids. Most of the kids here wouldn’t be able to go to school without the support of the choir. Now that they have the support of the choir, their education is covered to the end of college,” Wake said.
With that education, many of the children are realizing what possibilities lie before them, especially after witnessing life outside of the impoverished communities they come from. During the concerts, each child shares what he or she would like to grow up to be. At first, the children were not very creative in their choices, but as they see more, that is changing, Wake said.
“It’s opening their eyes for them to see what life is like here without the kind of intense poverty they’re coming from. It expands their ideas of what’s possible … Since they’ve been here, they’ve met people who are firefighters, dentists or social workers. One girl wants to be an astronaut now, because she’s seen that that’s a possibility,” Wake said.
Wake visited Uganda in 2006, so she knows where these children are coming from.
“They’re coming from difficult backgrounds where they weren’t necessarily able to just be children and play. I think that it’s cool to see them individually open up and become more confident. They can play and have fun and just be kids,” Wake said.
She will remain with the children for the remaining six months of the tour, which will stop in numerous cities, including Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit the website www.africanchildrenschoir.com.