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African Children's Choir: Fight Famine with Singing
All photos courtesy of Lydia Sherwood
The African Children’s Choir is composed of children who have lost one or both of their parents due to famine, war or disease. Each child represents different parts of Africa, and together the children are known for putting on a heartwarming concert. The primary purpose of the choir is to raise awareness for orphaned children in Africa and to provide unique training to become strong, confident leaders once they return to their homeland. How's that for awesome?
I was fortunate enough to have an exclusive interview with Dorothy Nabwami from African Children’s Choir.
SD:What is your favorite memory of doing African Children’s Choir?
DN:I loved meeting new people, and experiencing so may new things, and learning new things that we don’t have access to in Uganda, like taking a subway, flying in airplanes. My choir got to meet Will Smith and Ron Kenoly, and we sang for the American president at the time. Another favourite memory is eating hamburgers, visiting Disneyland, and traveling around the world.
Who are your most notable collaborators? Biggest guest you opened for?
The African Children’s Choir has sung for the Queen of England and the President of the United States, and with artists like Stephen Curtis Chapman & Josh Groban. Choir 40 hasn’t had the opportunity yet to open for any big guests.
How does the money raised help children from Africa? Can you give me an example how it helps kids currently?
The money raised let children attend school, provides meals, and receive medical attention that would otherwise not be available to them. The organization supports students from over 35 schools across seven African countries, including Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Ghana.
There are currently over 150 children in school at the African Children’s Choir Primary School outside of Kampala, Uganda. These children are given the best educations in Uganda. The children who attend this school consistently score among the top in the country. A one-on-one relationship with their teachers, which is not common in other schools in Uganda. The children are fed properly, which helps their performance in school.
What kinds of songs does the choir sing?
The choir sings traditional African songs as well as gospel favorites.
Do you come into the D.C./Maryland/VA area often?
The choir comes to the area every couple of years.
Does the founder still play a role with the choir?
Ray Barnett, the founder, is currently the president of the organziation, and so is very influential in what happens with the choir and the parent organization, Music For Life. He recently travelled to Uganda and visited with the former choir children, those who are currently attending the African Children’s Choir Primary School and those who are now adults.