The African Children’s Choir® is made up of some of the neediest and most vulnerable children in their countries. Many have lost one or both parents to poverty or disease. The African Children’s Choir helps these children break away from the everyday cycle of poverty and hopelessness.
Before being selected to join the Choir, children, generally aged between 7 and 11 attend Music for Life camps. These camps are fun and stimulating environments that provide a break from the daily hardships the young children face at home.
From the hundreds of children who attend the camps, approximately 50 will be chosen to audition for the Choir. Games, crafts, music and devotions are some of the activities the children look forward to at camp.
Once the children are selected, Choir Teams will spend a few days visiting the children’s homes to determine their needs and suitability for tour life. They then have the difficult task of selecting the group of children who will form the next African Children’s Choir.
Children selected to tour will spend approximately five months at the Choir Training Academy in Kampala, Uganda. Here the children learn the songs and dances, attend school, play and attend Sunday School at a local church.
It is at the Choir Training Academy where the real life-changing work of the African Children’s Choir can be seen. The children’s personalities and talents emerge like never before as they settle into their new routine with the knowledge that they are loved and cared for.
Breaking the cycle of poverty
Education is the key to positive change for Africa. Hoping to break the cycle of poverty, families make great sacrifices to send their children to school. However, most schools in Africa are poorly equipped, quite often with a student–to–teacher ratio of 100 to 1.
As they come from some of the neediest families, the African Children’s Choir™ is committed to helping Choir children physically, spiritually, emotionally and academically, giving each child an opportunity to reach their God-given potential.
While touring with the Choir, the children are exposed to a world of new possibilities. Chaperones, host communities and caring professionals share their wide variety of experiences with the children, exposing them to many new ideas and encouraging them to dream.
After returning to Africa, the African Children’s Choir provides care and education that builds on the unique international exposure the children experienced abroad. The children receive a quality education, leadership training and spiritual ministry at the Music for Life Primary School in Kampala, or at other well-equipped schools in their respective countries.
At the Music for Life Primary School in Uganda, class sizes are kept small. A team of dedicated teachers offers a traditional core curriculum, as well as classes in Computer Studies, Art, Music and Swahili. A stimulating extracurricular program also helps develop students’ athletic and artistic performance skills. For instance, the school is home to several soccer teams and hosts Choir concerts during the school year for students’ families and the local community. This approach has proven successful each year as the children’s examination results are among the highest in the country.
Selection into the African Children’s Choir means a long-term commitment and investment as the children are supported through their secondary and post-secondary education. Scholarships, school visits, camps and counselling are just some examples of the support given. The African chaperones currently travelling with the Choirs are only a few of the many graduates who were once part of the African Children’s Choir.
Watch this video in which Victoria, now a journalist, but also one of our first Choir graduates, shares from the heart:
The African Children’s Choir is instrumental in providing education to children and young adults throughout Africa.