08African Childrens ChoirThe African Children’s Choir began as one man’s vision to show the western world the hope, dignity and joy of Africa’s children. Ray Barnett, founder of the choir and its larger organization, Music for Life, first created a choir in 1984 after visiting Uganda during the brutal regime of Idi Amin. Barnett wanted the western world to see an alternative side to Africa, one the media doesn’t always portray – one that puts these bright and talented children in the spotlight. Choir 48 is coming to Fayetteville Sunday, Jan. 7, to perform at Fayetteville Christian Church.

Blessed with 18 children from Uganda, all the choir members feel privileged to be traveling around North America singing, dancing and representing their friends back home. The children in the choir come from severe poverty, but they are given the hope of a different future through education. Money raised at their performances goes toward the choir members’ education. Their education is now paid through university, and they are mentored throughout their childhood until they become young adults and future change-makers.

The children also perform to raise money for their friends in Africa. The larger organization, Music for Life, works in seven African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. Over the last 33 years, Music for Life has supported 52,000 children’s education by giving them the tools to become successful and secure a bright future for their families, communities and country.

The African Children’s Choir has had the privilege to perform before presidents, heads of state and most recently the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The choir has also had the honor of singing alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith and other inspirational performers.

The audience will see the delight in these children’s faces as they spread the message of hope to the people of Fayetteville. The program is a variety of traditional African songs, contemporary worship music and old gospel favorites. The children will also perform traditional Ugandan tribal dance. It is a free event and open to the public.

There will be a love offering taken during the concert. Money donated will go towards the education projects in Africa to support not only the children in the choir but thousands of others. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Learn more at www.africanchildrenschoir. com or by calling 910-822-2402.

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