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Music for Life

Centers

Across Africa

Off to
School
Celebrating
25 Years!

HELPING AFRICA’S
most vulnerable
CHILDREN today, so they can help
Printed in Canada AFRICA tomorrow
FOUNDER’S

2010
2 Welcome
WORD 3 Choir 35
It has been 25 years since the first African Children’s
6
Choir™ began their tour. 25 Years
In that time, hundreds of children have performed
around the world and thousands more have been given
a chance for an education.
9 Timeline
I originally envisioned the African Children’s Choir™ to
be a single project but the continued devastation in East
and South Africa meant that the Choir’s work was not
11 Across Africa
finished when the first tour ended.
13

contents
Millions of children and their families are still living in
deplorable conditions. They lack food and water. They
Off to School
lack proper medical care. They lack the tools and skills
necessary to break the cycle of poverty and change
their circumstances.

In 25 years, the African Children’s Choir™, with God’s


16
help, has changed the lives of thousands, and with your Music for Life
assistance we can change the lives of thousands more. Centers
While the main story in this issue takes you through the
history of the African Children’s Choir™, the pictures
of the children give you a glimpse of Africa’s future.
17 Capital Campaign
The children dream of becoming Africa’s next leaders:
dentists, teachers, engineers, bank managers and even
presidents.
EDITORIAL TEAM
Executive Editors: Ray Barnett, Suzanne Nelson
Your ongoing support as a Child Sponsor or Friend of Editors: Dawna Hodgins, Connie Millar, Penny Peterson, Michael Prins, David Turner
the Choir will ensure that the children you see on stage Photographic Contributions: Rebecca Johnson, Steve Hoyt, Victor Thiessen, Paul Yates,
today will achieve their dreams. You can help change a Craig Peters, Nicolas Koole, Kyle Healy, Michael Prins, Steve Higgs, Sarah Lidstone,
continent, one child at a time. Angela Lounsbury, Alex Palmer
Design and Art Direction: www.thinkgraphicdesigns.com

CONTACT US
United States - PO Box 29690, Bellingham WA 98228
T 877-532-8651 F 800-394-4647

Canada - PO Box 3100, Langley, BC V3A 4R3


T 877-532-8651 F 800-394-4647

United Kingdom - PO Box 130, Sutton, Surrey SMI ITN


T 084-5073-0470 F 028-9266-6601

South Africa PO Box 365, Komatipoort 1340

E info@africanchildrenschoir.com W africanchildrenschoir.com

Gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law. Music for Life is a registered charitable organization in
the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa. In the UK, Music for Life is a company
limited by guarantee and not a share capital.

www.twitter.com/acchoir www.facebook.com/africanchildrenschoir

1 / africanchildrenschoir.com
WE ARE THE
AFRICANCHILDREN’SCHOIR™
We are all between seven and eleven years
old and we come from Uganda and Kenya.
Our countries are very beautiful but years
of war and disease have made many people
very poor. It is hard for our families to care
for us, and many of us cannot go to school
because our families cannot afford to send us.

We hope our music and dancing will show


you how beautiful our culture is and inspire
you to help people in Africa.

Your generosity will help us and thousands


more children like us get an education so we
can grow up and help our families and our
villages.

Thank you for supporting us.

A hunter returns to the village to tell of his encounter with a leopard. its problems—
A small fishing boat comes across a hungry crocodile. as the children
The king and his court celebrate a bountiful harvest with a dance reserved share with you
just for the occasion. the cultural
heritage of
For 25 years, the African Children’s Choir™ has appeared at churches, their home-
schools, and community centers, relying upon the generous donations land.
of those concert-goers to support its life-changing programs in the chil-
dren’s home communities in Africa. With costumes and dances
representing different cultures
Now the Choir has created a unique theatrical production called Journey throughout Africa, the children
of Hope, designed to complement the ongoing touring gospel program. demonstrate the beauty and
dignity of Africa and the joy and
Let the talented children of the African Children’s Choir™ take you along hope of its people.
on an inspiring musical journey across the vast and diverse continent of
Africa. Gain a fuller understanding of Africa—with its pride, promise, and

The Choir presents Journey of Hope in theaters and concert halls across the US.
For more information visit our website at africanchildrenschoir.com/JOH
africanchildrenschoir.com / 2
The 35th
African
Children’s
Choir™ Alex Benson Brenda

Brian Charity Deborah Derrick

Esther Eunice Faith Grace

Ivy James John Jonah


3 / africanchildrenschoir.com
Naomi Peace Priscillah Regan

Ritah Rogers Ruth Stella

CHAPERONES
Born in Uganda, Harriet has been a part
of Music for Life for six years. Originally
serving as a teacher at African Children’s
Choir Primary School in Uganda, this
is the second time that Harriet has
accompanied the Choir on tour as a
chaperone and teacher. Working with
the organization has been a dream
come true for her, giving her the chance
Harriet to work with some of Africa’s needy
children.
The Team
Raised in Kenya by his deaf mother, Tony was a sickly child who required lots of
medical attention and nutrition to survive. Prayers were answered when he was
introduced to Music for Life’s program near Kibera, a slum where hundreds of
thousands of people live in just one square mile. He was nursed to health and
integrated into the African Children’s Choir, and with their constant support,
went on to become a qualified broadcast journalist.

Tony
Visit us at africanchildrenschoir.com/help/volunteer for more information on becoming a chaperone. africanchildrenschoir.com / 4
BECOME A
SPONSOR

CHANGE
AFRICA
ONE CHILD
AT A TIME

Sponsor a child from the Choir or one of the many other chil-
dren attending Music for Life’s educational programs in Africa.

Develop a long-term, rewarding relationship with your spon-


sored child and help your child achieve their dreams.

* Sponsorship is an on-going monthly committement.


God chose me to go to school
For more information visit
africanchildrenschoir.com/sponsorship
and gave me sponsors
or call 877-532-8651.
See page 18 to sign up now!
to pay for me so I can learn.
-Rose (8, Uganda)
5 / africanchildrenschoir.com
25 YEARS
As the African Children’s Choir™ celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, we look back on
how far we’ve come, and look ahead to where we’re going. It all started with a song.

O
Over twenty-five years ago an encounter between one man and one
small boy would change the lives of millions around the world.

Ray Barnett’s humanitarian work took him around the world, includ-
would be deeply moved and would certainly want to help.”

In April 1984 Ray and a team of volunteers went to Uganda to select


31 vulnerable children who would become the first African Children’s
ing a number of trips to war-torn Uganda in the late 1970s and early Choir™.
1980s.
That September, the Choir landed in North America and achieved
On one trip, Ray and his companions gave a small boy a ride from his much more throughout their tour than Ray could have imagined. The
decimated home to the safety of another village. During the journey, Choir inspired audiences with their stories and raised enough funds
the child did what he knew how to do best–-he sang. In the midst of to open a children’s home—the first of many. The home provided a
despair, the boy’s song revealed a glimmer of hope, a reminder of the stable environment and a quality education for the Choir children and
beauty and dignity of this boy and his people. additional children who needed care.

A veteran of appealing for support, Ray dealt regularly with hesitancy While Ray had thought of the Choir as a one-time endeavour, the
and apathy, and wanted a way to bridge the gap between the need in Choir’s instant popularity and the ongoing needs in Uganda convinced
Africa and the hearts of people in the West. him to continue.

“When I went back to Canada and people were not very interested A second Choir was selected from the children’s home, and the Afri-
in Uganda, I remembered this small boy,” Ray explained. “I knew that if can Children’s Choir™ began another tour.
only a group of these beautiful children could go to the West, people

africanchildrenschoir.com / 6
The Choir’s success meant that it was able to provide for many chil-
dren beyond those in the Choir. Over the next few years, six more
homes were established to care for vulnerable children, many of whom
had been orphaned by the war.

The intense civil war in Uganda left many children unable to attend
school, so the African Children’s Choir™ established a number of spe-
cial literacy schools. There, hundreds of children learned to read and
write, and gained confidence and skills that ensured a brighter future.

The organization next established a sponsorship program to help the


children move further in their schooling. People from the West were
now able to help students from the literacy schools continue their
education at regular primary and secondary schools.

Peace was slowly returning to East Africa, but a new killer had entered
the picture—AIDS.

The AIDS epidemic was wreaking additional havoc on the struggling


country. Meanwhile, changing Government policies required that or-
phaned children should remain with extended family as much as pos-
sible. Already over-burdened families were feeling the strain of taking
in more needy children.

These new developments prompted the Choir to consider a new


model. Having one central location would allow students to keep in
closer contact with families, while relieving many struggling families of
the pressures of providing for additional children.

The organization responded by opening its first boarding school: the


African Outreach Academy. The school provided a stable environment
and a quality education; a lifeline for hundreds of children whose fami- children chosen to be part of the African Children’s Choir™, it was a
lies had been affected by AIDS. huge step forward.

The African Children’s Choir™ has always tried to be where help was Next, the organization expanded to Nigeria and Ghana. As in East
needed most, adapting over the years to meet changing needs along Africa, AIDS was taking its toll, its rapid spread leaving thousands of
the way. Thousands of children had been helped in Uganda, but Ray children orphaned and vulnerable. New Choir children were selected
knew that his job and the work of the Choir were far from done. Ray from these countries and the organization ensured that they would be
was moved to help with similarly tragic situations in the neighbouring supported all the way through college or university.
countries of Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda.
As the new millennium arrived Ray learned of an area in South Africa
The Choir began selecting Kenyan children for tour in 1990 (Kenya decimated by AIDS. In the Nkomazi region thousands of orphaned
is now second to Uganda in the number of children in the Choir). children had to fend for themselves and raise their brothers and sis-
Firmly established in the country, the organization was able to quickly ters. A Choir was formed from the area to raise awareness and secure
respond with emergency food and supplies during the violence sur- funding for the devastated region.
rounding the 2008 Presidential Election.
It was there in South Africa that a powerful new program was born,
The African Children’s Choir™ responded to the 1992 crisis in Soma- based on the transformation seen in the Choir children in other coun-
lia, sending emergency food, medical supplies and education supplies. tries.

Before recent mass publicity campaigns about the Lost Boys of Sudan, The first Music for Life Center was established in South Africa to pro-
the African Children’s Choir™ was working in the war-torn country, vide benefits to children not touring with the Choir. Music and dance
providing emergency relief and establishing development projects. To- lessons, tutoring and nutrition were offered in a loving Christian envi-
day, the organization supports 15 primary schools, a secondary school, ronment, and the program quickly became the greatest source of joy
a skills training center for practical skills like carpentry and brick-laying, in the lives of many children.
and one of the area’s few teacher’s training colleges to help re-build
the local education system. The organization has recently opened similar Centers in nine more
locations in South Africa, as well as two in Kenya and two in Uganda.
In 1994, the Rwandan genocide made headlines around the world. At these Centers, the children are nurtured into confident young men
Not long after, the Choir was there; its work seemingly tailor-made for and women, equipped with the skills and determination to improve
the children of Rwanda. Children suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress their communities and their nations.
have benefited significantly from music and dance. For the Rwandan

7 / africanchildrenschoir.com
Just as one boy’s song captured Ray’s imagination, the African Chil-
dren’s Choir™ has stolen the hearts of people around the world.

Others have recognized that the children of the Choir vividly paint a
positive vision for Africa’s future, and have brought their captivating
smiles and talent to prestigious stages over the years.

The Choir has represented all of Africa’s children to Presidents and


royalty, at events like Live 8 and World AIDS Day, and to massive global
audiences through TV programs and film soundtracks.

In the West, the children’s music has brought hope and healing to
places like Ground Zero in New York and in Louisiana after Hurricane
Katrina. In Kenya, the children sang as brothers and sisters in a country
divided by tribal tensions.

After 25 incredible years, not a day has passed without a Choir on tour.
Thousands have been helped yet it is clear that the work of the Choir
is far from complete.

Every day in Africa, thousands more children are left vulnerable be-
cause of AIDS, poverty, and war. Countless more lack access to clean
drinking water, proper nutrition, and education.

The children singing in the Choir—and the thousands they represent—


are the future leaders of Africa; educated men and women of strong
Christian faith and character, prepared to be the role-models for the
next generation.

Believe with us, join with us and help the African Children’s Choir™
continue to transform whole nations—one child at a time.

You too can be an “Auntie” or “Uncle”!


Chaperone with the African Children’s Choir™
The African Children’s Choir™ is actively seeking Serve as an “Uncle” or “Auntie”, offering mentorship as a chaperone*,
Tour Chaperones to tour primarily within the United and applying your practical skills in one of many roles: Administrator,
States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. Teacher, Product Salesperson, Music Supervisor, Sound Technician, Bus
Driver, or even Tour Leader.
This is an incredibly fulfilling way to impact children’s lives, and a travel
experience unlike any other!

Download an application today at africanchildrenschoir.com/help/volunteer


Volunteer@africanchildrenschoir.com | 877-532-8651
*Chaperones commit to 12 months with the organization and should be at least 20 years old

africanchildrenschoir.com / 8
1.
1984 1st African Children’s Choir™ tours to North America (1)

1st children’s home established in Kampala.


2.

1985
1st 3 literacy schools founded in Kampala
Choir tours behind the Iron Curtain in Communist East Berlin

9 / africanchildrenschoir.com
1986
6 additional children’s homes established in Uganda

1988

1990 6th Tour includes children from Kenya (2)

1991 African Outreach Academy established in Luwero, Uganda


4.

Emergency aid sent to Somalia


1992 The African Children’s Choir™ nominated for a Grammy Award

3.
1993 Relief aid begins in Sudan

1994 10th Anniversary! (3)


5.
1997 3 Primary Schools and Teacher Training College established in Sudan

6.

7.
1998 Makindye Choir Training Academy established in Kampala (4)

1999 18th Tour includes children from Ghana & Nigeria


8.

2001 Music for Life Primary School opens in Kampala (5) 9.

Music for Life begins work in Nkomazi region of South Africa


2002 Choir sings at Ground Zero in New York City

2003 24th Tour includes children from Rwanda

2004 20th Anniversary! (6)

Choir performs at Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in South Africa (7)


2005 Choir performs at Live8 in Hyde Park, London
10.

2006 1st Music for Life Center established in South Africa


11.

Choir performs on American Idol special “Idol Gives Back”, and Season 7 finale
2007 1st tour to Australia (8)

African Children’s Choir™ Junior Academy opens in Komatipoort, South Africa


2008 (9)
Food containers sent to Kenya and Sudan

2009 25th Anniversary! (10)

africanchildrenschoir.com / 10
2010 New African Children’s Choir™ Primary School opens in Entebbe (11)
across Africa

How You are Helping across Africa


With your support over the past 25 years, the African Children’s Choir™ has grown
into a much larger entity called Music for Life, bringing together the Choir and a
number of projects in Africa.

The African Children’s Choir™ remains the ambassadors for millions of vulnerable
children, bringing their stories and message of hope to the world.

11 / africanchildrenschoir.com
• Capital: Khartoum
• Population: 40.2 million Sudan
• GDP per Capita: $934 (2006)
• Life Expectancy: 50.3 years
• HIV/ AIDS Infection: 350,000– 600,000

MFL RESPONDS:
• Operating 15 primary and 1 secondary schools
• Currently educating approximately 3500 children
• Teachers’ Training College
• Skills Training Center and Mobile Medical Clinic
• Ongoing spiritual encouragement, leadership training and life skills
seminars, PTSD clinics, and relief shipments
• Ongoing partnerships with local organizations

• Capital: Kigali
• Population: 10.2 million Rwanda
• GDP per Capita: $242 (2006)
• Life Expectancy: 49.8 years
• HIV/AIDS Infection: 150,000 (2007)

MFL RESPONDS:
• 50+ students sponsored
• Volunteer teams host camps; provide additional education programs • Capital: Kampala
and support
• Post-genocide counselling for PTSD and food and supply shipments
• Population: 29.6 million
• GDP per Capita: $346 (2006) Uganda
• Funding for community development projects • Life Expectancy: 52.3 years
• Support for Gisimba Memorial Center • HIV/ AIDS Infection: 940,000 (2007)

MFL RESPONDS:
• First African Children’s Choir™ in 1984
• 100+ former Choir children sponsored in secondary schools
• 40+ former Choir children sponsored in colleges and universities
• Additional courses, workshops and camps offered during school breaks
• Capital: Pretoria
• Population: 43.8 million South Africa • Volunteer teams host camps; provide additional education programs
and support
• GDP per Capita: $5,133 (2006)
• Music for Life Centers offer music, dance, nutrition and life skills
• Life Expectancy: 42.4 years
• 200 students sponsored at African Outreach Academy
• HIV/ AIDS Infection: 5.7 million (2007)
• 200 students sponsored at 2 primary schools in Kampala slum
• 150+ former Choir children enrolled at African Children’s Choir™
MFL RESPONDS: Primary School
• Focus on Nkomazi region devastated by HIV/AIDS and drought
• 10 Music for Life Centers offer music, dance, nutrition and life skills
• Music for Life Junior Academy – a boarding school for Choir children
• 3 Choir Tours from area

Nigeria Ghana
• Capital: Abuja Accra
• Capital: Nairobi
• Population: 38.0 million Kenya • Population:
• GDP per Capita:
138.3 million
$917 (2006)
23.4 million
$532 (2006)
• GDP per Capita: $650 (2006)
• Life Expectancy: 47.8 years 59.5 years
• Life Expectancy: 56.6 years
• HIV/AIDS Infection: 2.6 million (2007) 260,000(2007)
• HIV/AIDS Infection: 1.5 — 2.0 million (2007 est)

MFL RESPONDS: MFL RESPONDS:


• Sponsorship of former Choir children in Secondary and Post-Secondary
• 2nd highest number of children selected for Choir tours
school
• Ongoing mentorship and support for returning Choir children
• Ongoing support of King’s Kids Primary School in Nigeria
• 75+ former Choir children supported
• Ongoing support of Living Stone Primary School in Ghana
• Volunteer teams host camps; provide additional education programs
and support
• 2 Music for Life Centers offer dance, music and nutrition

africanchildrenschoir.com / 12
off to
school
How would your life be different if you had never been to school? Would you have
the same job? The same home? In the West, attending school is a requirement. In Africa it is a
privilege, one that thousands of children miss out on because they are too poor. Yet around the world,
education is seen as the key to ending poverty. Even the most basic reading, writing, and math skills can
lead to jobs that can earn money for food, clothing, and medical care.

Helping Africa’s most vulnerable children today… Music for Life Primary School - Uganda
The African Children’s Choir™ realized early on that education is the In 2001, Music for Life Primary School was built to provide a home for
key to long-term change in Africa and made this its primary focus. returning Choir children and to expand on the unique education they
Why is education so important? received while on tour.

“Because you learn things,” says 11-year old Tony. “I have learned to Joshua is assured of his place at the boarding school where he will be
know how my ancestors lived so I know if I need to change it or not.” loved, cared for and supported as he reaches for his dreams.

The children know first-hand just how difficult life is for those who do Music for Life Primary School blends positive elements of both West-
not have an education. Families will sacrifice food, shelter and medical ern and African culture. While on tour the children have an amazing
care to send their children to school. range of personal experiences and their teachers hope the children
can use those experiences to
“The children really value make connections not only
school, and look at it as a privi- with the way things are, but
lege,” says former Choir chap- also with the way things could
erone and teacher Jenny Kohl- be.
rus. “They value education and
know that it will change their An example of one such con-
lives and their countries.” nection is Moses, a member
of the first African Children’s
Choir™. While on tour Moses
…so they can help admired the smooth roads,
Africa tomorrow! comparing them to the pot-
Joshua is a 10-year old from holed roads near his home
Uganda and member of in Kampala. That time on tour
the 31st African Children’s inspired Moses to study engi-
Choir™. His time on tour has neering and become a Chief
opened up a whole new fu- Engineer for the City of Kam-
ture. Like all African children, pala. When it came time to
Joshua has the potential to build the school, Moses was
make a difference. He knows contracted by the African
that by studying and learning, Children’s Choir™ to super-
his future is wide open, in spite of the circumstances he has come vise construction.
from. Music for Life Primary School has since established itself as one of
“When you finish studying you can help other people” he says. “Like the top schools in Kampala. Academically, students consistently achieve
when their eyes are sick, you can help them.” Joshua would like to be some of the highest National exam marks; members of the school’s
an Optometrist one day. Mathematical Society have won competitions; and one student is even
a prize-winning artist.
The Choir supports the education of thousands of underprivileged
children like Joshua, providing sponsorship for tuition and supplies. The The school’s champion soccer and volleyball teams are a force to be
organization also operates a number of schools in Uganda, South Af- reckoned with but always impressing Headmaster Mark Williams and
rica and Southern Sudan. their coaches with their outstanding sportsmanship.

13 / africanchildrenschoir.com
The success of the African Children’s Choir™ has meant that the
number of students enrolled has exceeded the space available in the
school. A larger, upgraded facility is under construction on a 15-acre
campus near Entebbe.
The new campus, aptly named The African Children’s Choir™ Primary
School, opened its doors to students in February 2010.

African Children’s Choir™ Junior Academy –


South Africa
In South Africa, the African Children’s Choir™ works in one of the ar-
eas hardest hit by AIDS: the Nkomazi region in Mpumalanga province.
When the organization began its work here, over half the population
was under age three, and over 2700 children were orphaned.
Three Choirs have since been formed from children in this region, and
the organization was determined that these children would be taken
care of upon their return. The question was, how and where?
In 2008 the African Children’s Choir™ established a boarding school in
Komatipoort, near the Southern edge of the Kruger National park.The
African Children’s Choir™ Junior Academy would be home to former
and future Choir children from the area.
The school also serves as a Training Center for future Choirs from this
area. Former Choir members are encouraged to help teach dancing
and drumming to the younger students.
“It is wonderful to see these children impart to the new ones what
they have learned over the years. The new children are excited to
learn and want to be just like the older ones,” says Di Babb, the facility’s
Operations Manager.
The school currently offers classes from grades three to seven and the
students continue to excel well into secondary school. credited through Kyamboga University in Kampala, Uganda in August
2008.
Teacher Training College - Southern Sudan The first class graduated in 2002 and the new teachers are working
In Southern Sudan, Music for Life is working with several other non- all over Southern Sudan, providing new leadership for a country just
governmental organizations to rebuild the country’s entire educational developing after a devastating war that killed or displaced millions.
infrastructure, decimated during the decades-long civil war. Over 15 Music for Life also operates a skills training center for local youth and
primary and two secondary schools have been established in Kaji Keji war widows that includes courses in the trades.
County, with over 3500 students enrolled. Through these schools and the sponsorship of hundreds of other
In 2000, the first primary Teacher Training School began operations, students in Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Ghana, the African Children’s
certifying a new generation of teachers based on the Ugandan Na- Choir™ is truly “helping Africa’s most vulnerable children today, so
tional Curriculum and Teachers Standards. The school was officially ac- they can help Africa tomorrow.”

When I grow up
I want to be a nurse
- Esther (9, Uganda)

When I grow up
I want to be a president
- Gilbert (11, Uganda)
africanchildrenschoir.com / 14
You and your team can go to Africa!

EDUCATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT

WORK CREWS
CAMP TEAMS

PRACTICUM
COURSE

WHAT’S IT
REALLY LIKE CAMP TEAMS

LIVING, BREATHING & HELPING


IN AFRICA? Experience Africa, and help some of Africa’s most vulnerable.
Be part of:

• Children’s Ministry & Day-camps

See for yourself. • Educational development, practicum course work


• Construction/renovation projects

Relief and With your team of 6-12, you will enjoy community visits, project site
visits, and an optional safari experience. Help give children across
Development Course Africa an experience they would otherwise go without!

Get your feet wet. Combining classroom teaching, guest speakers, and
hands-on practical experience in the field, participants of all ages will Enquire Today!
learn, live, and serve within Music for Life’s projects and their
surrounding communities. You will be matched up with one local Change lives; it might even change yours.
student, for a full learning experience! This is truly a taste of what it is
like living and working in the Relief and Development field!
Apply with your team today! Please enquire for dates, cost,
*Applicants must be at 18 yrs old, willing to cover/raise all costs for the application requirements, and availability.
program, and have a heart for learning. Each course is split into 2 modules,
each lasting 4 weeks. You may do one or both modules 877-532-8651
volunteer@africanchildrenschoir.com
Relief and Development africanchildrenschoir.com/help/volunteer
Course/Practicum
Nairobi, KENYA ROLL EN
May-June 2010 N OW!
June-July 2010
4 or 8 week opportunities.
Enquire for further details: 877-532-8651

15 / africanchildrenschoir.com
“With the MFL group going to the schools every week, it is obvious
that the children have learned songs, dances and life skills,” says Eunice
Odieo, a former Choir member, now a Center volunteer. “The children
are very keen and always ready to learn new things.”

Each term culminates in a scheduled performance for friends and fam-


ily, giving these children another opportunity to shine and build faith
in themselves!

Centers across Africa In just four years the growth has been astonishing. Music for Life is not
privileged to serve 10 schools weekly in South Africa. The program
Music and dance can forever alter a life. The joy witnessed in each also includes additional Centers in Kenya and Uganda, modified only to
member of the African Children’s Choir™ is evidence that song and remain culturally relevant. All have met with the same positive results.
dance can transcend life’s difficulties and minister to the spirit.
The desire to ensure each individual child’s emotional, social and
This belief led Music for Life to present an after-school program to spiritual needs are met is promoting positive development in each
share Christ’s love based on the Choir model to local communities community. Relationships and personal contact with the most vulner-
across Africa. able children have opened the door to help meet many families’ most
pressing needs by providing food and medical care.
Called Music for Life Centers, the program offers similar opportunities
for growth to children beyond the Choir, in some of Africa’s most des-
perate situations. The mission of the Music for Life Centers is simple
but powerful; “To uplift, inspire and empower children through involve-
ment in Music and Dance, and the Performing Arts as a whole.”

Music for Life Centers partner with local schools to purposefully select
approximately 50 of the most vulnerable children to participate in this
extra-curricular program. Exposure to the performing arts has proven
to be the catalyst for significant changes in their young lives.

Music for Life began its work in 2002 in the Nkomazi region of South
Africa, an area devastated by unemployment, drought, AIDS and HIV.
The vision to bring the Choir model to this devastated area became
reality in 2006 when three Centers were established, each week pro-
viding the opportunity for singing, dancing and life skills training.

The musical aspect alone has been excellent in facilitating develop- In keeping with Music for Life’s mission of “helping Africa’s most vulner-
ment in areas such as listening skills, memory retention, teamwork and able today, so they can help Africa tomorrow”, many young adults who
goal setting. In addition to ministering to the children’s educational, have been helped by Music for Life are also involved, leading the classes
emotional, and spiritual needs, snacks and/or lunches are provided with and mentoring to the younger children. No one can understand these
each session, sometimes the only food a child will eat that day. children better than those who have shared their history.

The results of this project are tangible. Di Babb, Operations Manager David Kanyosya is one such former Choir member who now works
in South Africa, shares the story of one boy named Sipho. In his eight for Music for Life in Kenya. “The children have opened up to the young
short years, Sipho has lost all four of his siblings, his mother, and is left adults since they feel associated to them,” he says. “Some of them have
in the care of his alcoholic father. Local school staff, recognizing Sipho’s lived in the same neighborhoods and have experienced and lived simi-
dire situation, collaborated with Music for Life to have him admitted lar lives before they joined Music for Life. This has enabled the leaders
into Music for Life Center program. to counsel and give hope to the children in a more personal level and
as a result enriching the value of MFL programs.”
With staff fostering a safe and trusting relationship with him, Sipho was
able to open up about his home situation. The change in his counte- Mwai Githinji, the Kenya Office Administrator says, “with so much
nance is visible. Di Babb now reports, “It is obvious he feels loved and praise from the school administration and the children too, our young
cared for in a way he’s never before experienced.” adults are more than zealous to reach out to many other children and
see their lives changed and transformed for good.”
It is for children like Sipho that this program exists. Involvement in the
performing arts - within a stimulating and caring environment - af- The added dimension of having the older teach the younger is a bless-
firms basic rights, infuses self-esteem, and builds life skills. The personal ing, creating a beautiful cycle unique to Music for Life that ripples out-
changes are undeniable; workers and school administrators bear wit- ward even as it comes full circle. The Music for Life Centers fulfill the
ness to heightened confidence, focus in class, and most importantly, original hope of the organization: helping Africa’s most vulnerable to-
smiles on faces that once had none! day, so they can help Africa tomorrow. “We hope that we would have
put a ray of hope for the little children’s hearts”, says Eunice, “and give
them hope for a better future.”

africanchildrenschoir.com / 16
AFRICANCHILDREN’SCHOIR™ PRIMARY SCHOOL
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

The success of the African Children’s Choir™ created a happy dilemma; the Music for Life Primary
School campus was overflowing with 150 students enrolled at a facility originally built for 90!

The temporary solution was to house and school students in the projects and watching how everything is put together.
lower grades at a satellite campus approximately 20 minutes away. The The campus currently has space to house up to 200 students, with
Choirs in training were at yet a third facility. potential to expand. Additional staff and guest housing will be built on
Construction began to build a new, upgraded education facility on site and a new Choir Training Center will allow children to continue
a 15-acre parcel of land near Entebbe, on the their classes with their peers. The Assembly Hall
shores of Lake Victoria. and Amphitheater will provide a meeting place
The children moved in and began classes at the for students and the community. A full soccer
new facility in February 2010. The children are pitch will accommodate the school’s champion-
enjoying the wide open spaces, larger classrooms ship soccer teams.
and expanded programs. Everyone at the school The campus will also have a garden to help
agrees that the lakeside location is amazing and with science lessons and to provide some of
the sunrise is beautiful! the school’s food needs. Landscaping has been
When the children were asked what they thought designed with lots of open spaces for play, and
of the new school, two boys quickly spoke about other spaces for quiet reflection or study.
seeing two crested cranes flying overhead. This Funding is still needed to complete the din-
was the first time the children had ever seen the ing hall, staff housing and administrative offices
national bird of Uganda! and complete Phase One of the building cam-
The school facility is not finished yet, but the chil- paign. Your generosity will open the doors to a
dren enjoy seeing the progress of the building brighter future for Africa’s vulnerable children.
Donate now!
To donate to the school’s capital campaign, please call 877-532-8651 or visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com
17 / africanchildrenschoir.com
Sponsor a member of the
African Children’s Choir ™
I WOULD like to
I was a member of
African Ch ildr en’s Ch
the
oir ™. support the work
Thanks to my sponsors
graduated from hig
and am
h
I
sch
wa
hav
oo
itin
e
l
g
of the Choir
to start univer sity. For a tax receipt, please ensure that you provide your mailing address
Sponsor a Choir
Name: ___________________________________________________
member like the
ones you see on Address: __________________________________________________
stage today, and
help them achieve City: _____________________________________________________
their dreams too.
State/Province: ___________________ Post/Zip Code: ____________

Email: ____________________________________________________

The full cost to support a Choir child is $200 per month. Your Phone: ___________________________________________________
$50 per month helps provide complete care at a boarding school
until your child has completed post-secondary school.
Please accept my One-time Monthly gift of $ ______________

Sponsor a child To support:


Choir Child Sponsorship ($50/$100/$200 per month)
Sponsorship ($35 per month)
African Children’s Choir™ Primary School
My family is ver y poor.
Before Music for Life I Music for Life Centers
was not in school. My Other (Please specify): _____________________________________
sponsors pay for me
to go to school. My Payments will be taken on the 15th (credit card) or 18th (direct debit) of each month. I under-
future will be better stand that I may revoke this authorization at any time by providing 15 days notice.
just like all the other
children who go to
school. You can help
Signature: _________________________________________________
another child like me
go to school too.
My check payable to “Music for Life” is enclosed.
Debit my bank account (void check enclosed)
Debit my credit card
The cost to support a child in a community school is $35 per
month. Your monthly commitment provides school fees, sup-
plies, uniforms and lunch for your child intil he or she has com- Name of Card Holder: ______________________________________
pleted secondary school.
Card Number: ____________________________________________

Establish a long-term
Expiry Date _______ /_______
relationship with a special child
Mail to:
Sign Up Now! United States PO Box 29690, Bellingham, WA 98228
Canada PO Box 3100, Langley, BC V3A 4R3
Sponsorship is an ongoing monthly commitment.
Sign up now for automatic payments from your bank account or credit card. Corresponding via email lowers administration costs.We will not share or sell your email address.
Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Tax receipts for donations under $15 will be
issued by request only.

For more information: C35MAG-01


t: 877-532-8651
e: info@africanchildrenschoir.com
w: africanchildrenschoir.com/help/volunteer

africanchildrenschoir.com / 18
Take the Choir Gospel With Friends:
The Choir’s latest album, high-

home with YOU! lighting some of the Choir’s


favourite gospel classics and
performances with special
friends such as Michael W. Smith and
African Children’s Choir™ Music CD’s & DVD Jars of Clay

Title: Qty USA/Canada It Takes A Whole Village:


A rich compilation of 17 tracks featur-
Gospel with Friends _____ $15.00
ing many traditional African songs as
Still Walking in the Light _____ $15.00 well as a few English favourites, taking
Because You Loved Me _____ $15.00 you on an authentic African experi-
Devotion _____ $15.00 ence as you hear and feel the beats of
It Takes a Whole Village _____ $15.00 various African cultures
Still Walking in the Light (DVD) _____ $20.00
Still Walking in the Light:
Teach Me To Dance (DVD) _____ $20.00 A live recording of the Choir’s 15th
Anniversary Celebrations. A time-
T-shirts honored collection featuring the
Choir’s all-time classics such as “O
Adults - S M L XL XXL _____ $20.00
Happy Day” and “This Little Light of
Child - Sm Med Lg _____ $15.00 Mine” (Also available in DVD)
(6-8) (10-12)(14-16)

Subtotal __________
Devotion:
Shipping & Handling add 10% __________ Share with the Choir’s daily time of
Total __________ praise and worship in this balanced
mix of both energetic and easy-lis-
tening contemporary Christian praise
Name: ___________________________________________________
songs
Address: __________________________________________________

Because You Loved Me:


City: _____________________________________________________
A collection of the Choir’s most
popular songs, such as “Highway to
State/Province: ___________________ Post/Zip Code: ____________ Heaven” and “Seed to Sow”, including
the popular title track “Because You
Email: ____________________________________________________ Loved Me”

Corresponding via email lowers administration costs.We will not share or sell
your email address.
T-Shirt:
Show your support for the Choir
Phone: ___________________________________________________ by wearing one of these high quality
T-Shirts, with our vibrant, eye-catching
logo on the front. Available in both
Method of Payment:
child and adult sizes
Visa Master Card AMEX Other
Check made payable to “Music for Life”

Card Number ___________________________ Expiry Date ___ / ___ Teach Me To Dance:


A live recording of the Choir’s 20th
Name on Card: ____________________________________________ Anniversary Celebrations at Vancou-
ver’s prestigious Orpheum Theatre.
Signature: _________________________________________________ See the color, energy, and sounds of
the Choir and other special perform-
ers, including the Vancouver Symphony
Mail your order form to:
United States: PO Box 29690, Bellingham, WA 98228-1690 Orchestra. Filmed in widescreen and
Canada: PO Box 3100, Langley, BC V3A 4R3 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound

Order product online at africanchildrenschoir.com/store


19 / africanchildrenschoir.com