The African Children’s Choir, a non- profit organization, which was founded in Uganda in the 1980s, through its’ enormous works and live performances was privileged to be nominated in the 2013 annual Grammy Awards.
The African Childrens Choir is celebrating 30 years of helping Africas most vulnerable children on 1st August 2015. The Organisation, which was birthed in 1984, after the civil war that left thousands of Ugandan children orphaned, will be culminating its 30th year of operations in Uganda with a 2 day celebration running from 31st July 2015 through 1st August 2015.
The African children’s choir is a group composed of children aged seven to ten years old, from a range of African countries. Majority of these choir children have been orphaned and left vulnerable due to HIV/Aids and the past civil wars.
Different choirs have travelled the globe and continue to, with a primary goal of raising awareness for the plight of destitute and orphaned children in a range of African continent. This in turn has enabled the group raise funds, which have continued supporting the organization in its diverse developmental programs.
The first African Children’s Choir came from areas of Kampala, and Luwero. They travelled in the North American community churches, singing and sharing the joy of Christ despite the hardships in their home country.
The founder of the African Children’s Choir, Ray Barnett, having been inspired by the singing of a small boy, believed that having a group of children share this joy with the rest of the world would depict dignity and ultimate potential of the African child.
Ray said,” Music is the best gift that we can give,”
He adds, “Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and enabling communities to be self-reliant.”
From then on, 43 more choirs have toured the globe as a mouthpiece of other African vulnerable children, raising funds, which have educated over 52,000 children from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.
With a vision to help Africa’s most vulnerable children, so they can help Africa tomorrow’, the group has been able to achieve more by furthering 100,000 more children through sponsorship programs and relief projects.
Successfully, the organization has produced Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Engineers and Musicians, all who are changing the African continent in their various fields of work.
Over the last thirty years, the organization through the choir tours has gained international acclaim, winning awards, producing albums and staging powerful performances. In addition, the choirs have been privileged to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, as part of the BBC proms series and at the Common Wealth Observation Day, graced by the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey.
Dressed in brilliant native costumes fashioned in bright, bold colors, the children use native drums, captivating the audiences with vibrant dances, and energetic gospel tunes.
With powerful stage performances from the Royal Albert Hall and Coventry Cathedral in the United Kingdom, to the Disney theme parks in the U.S. Desmond Wilcox made an award-winning television documentary of the choir.
The choir performed at the Michael Barrymore Show, at Ulster Hall in Belfast, at the Berlin Stadium in Germany,
The choir has put together videos and recording Albums such as ‘Still Walking in the Light and ‘The Story of the African Children’s Choir from Desmond Wilcox’s series, It Takes a Whole Village with Omega Bugembe Okello, alongside two BBC Radio documentaries.
Along side choir, the organization also runs a number of projects in its different countries of operation such as the Music for Life centers. It consists of programs that are run in community primary schools, located in slum areas. These include music, dance, bible stories, as well as life skills run by Alumni of the organization.
Recently, the group established the ‘12 MILLION ORPHANS’, an educational campaign representing over 12million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the founder, Ray Barnett, “the main program to reach these children is the Music for Life Centers.”