posted September 1, 2009

African Children’s Choir to Perform on Sept. 18

The African Children's Choir will perform at Hope College in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.

The public is invited.  Admission is free, although a freewill offering will be taken.

The African Children's Choir is made up of children ages seven to 12 from several African nations.  Since its inception, the choir has included children from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.  Many of the children have lost one or both parents to AIDS and other poverty-related diseases, and all of them are victims of extreme poverty.

The first choir was formed in 1984, selected from orphaned and vulnerable children in the Kampala and Luwero areas of Uganda. After the choir was trained to perform and readied for living in new and different cultures, the children traveled from Uganda to tour among the North American church communities.

The choir serves as the main fundraising branch for its parent organization, Music For Life Institute, with proceeds from the choir's work used to fund education and relief efforts for African children affected by poverty and disease.  More than 7,000 children in several African nations are currently being supported through the program. The proceeds of the first African Children's Choir tour also funded the building of an orphanage in Kampala from which a second African Children's Choir was selected.

The choir has recorded songs for the soundtracks of major motion pictures, including Oprah Winfrey's "Beloved," "Hotel Rwanda" and "Blood Diamond," and has appeared on several nationally televised shows.

To date, more than 700 children have been through the choir program, and the funds they have generated have provided the opportunity of education and hope for many thousands like them in some of the most desperate and needy areas of Africa.

The HopeCollege performance is being sponsored by the Hope College International Relations Club, and the offices of international education and multicultural education.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on the corner of College and 12th Street.