The African Children’s Choir offers a way for children in need of education, care and housing in Africa to get all three, while also sharing their joyous voices with the world.
The choir was founded by Ray Barnett, who visited Uganda on a humanitarian mission more than three decades ago.
While transporting a boy from his home, which had been destroyed in the war, to a new village, Barnett was charmed and awed when the child began to sing. Barnett returned to his native Canada resolved to bring new attention to the struggles of the war-torn country. But he found that just talking to people wasn’t having the desired effect.
Barnett decided to form a choir of African children who could perform in the West while also drawing attention to the plight of Uganda and other struggling nations.
The first choir included 31 children and raised financing for a home in Makerere. Kids in the choir, along with some others in desperate need, stayed there and received the care and teaching they needed to make better lives for themselves down the road. Six other homes popped up in subsequent years.
The choir has financed literacy schools in Uganda and continues to tour across the west to raise awareness of the plight of African children. Now it also includes sponsorship opportunities to help kids stay in secondary school. Many of them go on to post-secondary education as well.
The program Music for Life has spread to seven African countries, and ACC’s tours raise money to support the group as it fights for orphans and others in Africa who need help, including those impacted by AIDS.
We feel blessed and honored that the African Children’s Choir has made Grantham Church one of its stops along the way. We can’t wait to hear their performance on Nov. 27.