Choir helps poor kids thrive
The members of the Ugandan Orphans Choir burst with energy when they're on stage. The children, who range in age from 8 to 14, put their all into each performance because they know it can help other children in impoverished countries have a brighter future.
The choir, which is made up of five boys and five girls, is in the midst of its annual United States tour. For six weeks or so they are in Minnesota. During that time they stop in Rosemount twice.
They had a performance at Lighthouse Christian Church July 13 and will perform July 20 at Rosemount United Methodist Church. With each performance they will bring awareness to the plight of impoverished children in the world.
Additionally, they will try to drum up support for child sponsorships, said director of US ministries Shawn Morton.
The sponsorships provide children in developing countries education and resources not usually available to them. Morton said gaining an education allows those kids to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations.
"The kids on tour know how important it is to get sponsorships and they want to help other kids get sponsored," said Morton.
Childcare Worldwide is a Christian organization that sponsors the choir. A new choir is put together each year. The choir usually does a 10-month tour of the United States starting in February and ending sometime in late November or early December. Through its sponsorship program, CCW serves children in nine developing countries.
Morton said the choir performs mostly in churches. He said their performances include a variety of high-energy songs, dances and instrumental performances. Some are contemporary songs done in English and others hail from Uganda.
"It's hard to describe what they do. They burst with energy and enthusiasm," said Morton.
The kids are selected from orphanages in Uganda. The children audition for the opportunity to be in the choir. Morton said they are chosen not only for their musical ability but also for their academic achievement.
The tour started in Washington and has moved across the Midwest. Eventually they will tour through Wisconsin and Illinois and then down to Texas. During the tour they stay with host families and learn about American culture. Throughout, though, the students continue with their schoolwork.
"They will get a pretty good cross section of American culture," said Morton.
After the tour is done in December the kids will go back to Uganda where they will continue their studies.
The Ugandan Orphans Choir will perform at 7 p.m. July 20 at Rosemount United Methodist Church.
For more information on the Ugandan Orphans Choir visit www.childcareworldwide.org/choir.