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Ugandan children’s choir performs at Saint Mary’s

| Friday, September 11, 2015

The Ugandan Kids Choir, a ministry of Childcare Worldwide, performed in Little Theatre at Saint Mary’s College on Thursday. According to the their website, Childcare Worldwide’s global mission is to “build a bridge between concerned people in the West and children in the developing world, to help meet their spiritual and physical needs through a ministry that emphasizes education and is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Choir tour leader Susanna Spaid said the choir has been raising awareness and sponsorship for child poverty since 2006. She said the children are able to perform nationwide, mainly at churches and schools, but they have also performed at Disneyland, CenturyLink Field — home of the Seattle Seahawks — and on the steps of the White House.

According to Spaid, the choir is on an 11-month tour around the United States performing traditional Ugandan music and dances. The choir is made up of five girls and five boys all of whom are eight to 12 years old. All of the children come from an impoverished life and many are orphans.

“They have the opportunity outside poverty to achieve their dreams,” Spaid said.

She said on their tour, the children travel with four adult leaders — two of whom are from Uganda and two from the United States.

“We as tour leaders act as their parents, bus drivers, mentors and teachers,” Spaid said. “We currently work in nine countries around the world and we are able to continue this program through sponsorship. Our program lasts through trade school so that way the children are set up for future employment and so that they are able break the cycle of poverty.”

During the performance, the children introduced themselves and told the audience what they wanted to be when they grow up. They aspire to become nurses, doctors, pilots, teachers and engineers.

Together the children said, “Greetings from Africa. We are happy to be here.”

At the end of the show the children went into the crowd and danced with audience members.

Nancy Menk, chair of the department of music which sponsored the event, said the concert offered Saint Mary’s students a glimpse into the music of other cultures.

“It’s a great opportunity for our music education majors to see and hear authentic performances of African music,” she said. “This presentation is another example of Saint Mary’s College’s increasing emphasis on global studies and intercultural activities.”

For more information on sponsorsip and volunteering with the Ugandan Kids Choir, visit www.ugandankidschoir.org

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