The African Children’s Choir visits Ridgeview Community Church

Amy Sarmiento, Reporter

The African Children’s Choir composed of children from poverty-stricken towns in Uganda, performed at Ridgeview Community Church on Jan. 20.

This organization, also known as Music for Life, focuses on bringing awareness to audiences around the world about Africa’s vulnerable children and their potential to have bright futures. 

About 20 children from ages 8 to 10 performed in the choir while incorporating African culture and music in their songs, dances, and vestment. They sang well-known gospel songs as well as some songs that were in their native language. Each child had the opportunity to introduce his or herself and say what they want to be when they grow up. 

This organization allows the children to be part of a choir for one year, where they have the opportunity to go on tour around the world in order to bring awareness about their lifestyle in Africa, and raise funds for their education. 

The tour leader for the African Children’s Choir, Janelle Hoekstra stated the different backgrounds of each child and how the choir is formed.

“They come from families who wouldn’t have been able to provide them the opportunity to go to school, so the organization has contacts for different areas in Uganda and talks to people who know families who are having trouble providing. From there, they invite children to a fun music camp for 4 days, and then a choir is selected,” Hoekstra said.

Photo Courtesy of Janelle Hoekstra
The African Children’s Choir travels the world to raise awareness for children in Africa

During their one year on tour, the children have performed in front of audiences such as American Idol at the season 6 finale, and been invited to a Black Ball Gala to sing alongside Alicia Keys. 

They have also been featured in a CNN international documentary “Inside Africa.” 

Not only does this organization provide children with an experience to travel the world and be a part of many significant accomplishments, but they are also fundraising for their education.

“All of their education from primary school to university is paid for by this program so it is completely life-changing for them, and for many other children who they are ambassadors for in other countries in Africa which funds are also used to help their education.” Hoekstra said. 

So far, the donations received since initiating their organization in 1984 has allowed 50,000 children to obtain an education. 

This organization relies on donations to help the children and make a positive impact in Africa.