A special message from our Founder and CEO – Ray Barnett
Daddy Ray and Music for Life first went to Sudan in the midst of the Civil War in the 1990’s. Children had no form of education so the team started to set up primary schools with as little as the trees for shade and the sandy ground and sticks as writing aids.
30 years on our work continues to break boundaries. MFL established 15 primary schools in that time and continues to support the Bright Star Academy Secondary School, Kajo Keji Teachers Training College and a Medical Clinic.
The African Children’s Choir not only raises funds for their own education – their tours fund projects like these in South Sudan so Music for Life can reach out to thousands of other vulnerable children who can not make it on tour.
Your help is needed so we can continue our work for the next 30 years. Please give $30 to our #30for30 campaign now.
This is Kibera slum, located in Kenya. Music for Life helps children who come from this slum with our Music for Life Centers and Kindergarten we have based in there.
We need your help today to continue these projects, please consider giving $30 to our #30for30 campaign so the African Children’s Choir can continue to be ambassadors for the thousands of vulnerable children in Africa.
Music for Life Centers are a place where children can come out of the slums, away from danger and enjoy dance, music, Bible stories, games and learning life skills.
Please help today so we can continue to reach out to children in places such as the Kibera slums.
Meet Catherine Macharia, the twenty seven year old was born in Langas, one of the chief slums in Eldoret Kenya.
She joined the African Children’s Choir back in 1993.
“It was a very difficult time for me as a child then, given the fact that I could not go to school.” Catherine says, “Joining the African Children’s Choir was a miracle,” she continues.
Catherine toured with Choirs ten and eleven, something she says was the greatest experience of her life, since she got to meet many great people and share the love of Christ with them. Most importantly, she appreciates belonging to the biggest and most loving family of the African Children’s Choir, where “spiritual nourishment was our daily bread,” she adds.
Early in 2011, Catherine graduated with a Diploma in Nursing and today, she works in the second largest slum in Kenya as a nurse midwife. She gladly comments, “My greatest joy is when I help various women bring forth life, and witness the newly born make their first cry.”
To Catherine, the nursing experience is what she considers a God given opportunity to change lives and make a difference in various Women’s lives in her community.
She lastly says, “God used the African Children’s Choir to bring out the best in me, and in many other children who are inspiring the world in different ways. God bless the ACC.”
Please consider giving $30 to our #30for30 campaign so we can help more children like Catherine realise their dreams!
Another special group of people we need to thank for their continued support over our 30 year history are host families! For opening your hearts and homes to the children.
We received this lovely message from a host family in Australia recently…
“We, as a family from Inaburra, were honored to host for 4 days, 2 beautiful girls from the ACC, Edith and Esther and their gorgeous, fun and amazingly talented chaperone, Evah.
The girls melted our hearts with their fun loving, respectful personalities and of course their infectious smiles.
Abbey and Sophie had an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to get an insight into the life of children in Uganda and through sponsorship, we now feel that they are part of our extended family.”
Please consider being part of our next 30 years by making a $30 donation to our #30for30 campaign. Help us reach our $90,000 target in celebration of our 30 years
Robert explains, “The organization is the backbone of my life. All experience, education, love and care that I have received over the years, I owe it to them. “I was sponsored up to university, where I graduated as an Accountant,” he adds.
Robert now works at the African Children’s Choir Primary School as the school Administrator, which he has done for about two years. As an administrator Robert oversees projects, supervises some staff members, monitors the primary going student’s welfare, as well as administrative work including finances at the school.
He says, “I love just spending time with these children, sharing a story or an experience and listening to them. Being part of their lives can be so rewarding.”
In addition, Robert believes that working with the Choir is more like a privilege, a chance to give back. He is highly convinced that there is nothing more rewarding than being part of a positive change in another person’s life.
“I am happily married to Jennipher Namara who was also in the Choir, and together we stay in Entebbe, a few kilometers away from the school,” Robert says.
Over the years, Robert admits that there have been a few people that have directed him onto the right path. “I will mention Mr. Paul Matembe also known as Uncle Paul. He has made a very big mark in my life. Uncle was and still continues to be my marriage counselor. He is an extremely patient man, humble, reliable and wise,” he comments.
Despite the most pressing challenge of having lost his parents at an early age, hunger, sickness and lacking a lot, Robert still chooses to see all this as an opportunity.
“To me a challenge is that situation that gets your mind thinking and sometimes it is not even about you,” he agrees.
Much as it is always overwhelming to see poverty, disease, brutality unfairness, hunger and all those other wrongs, he acknowledges, that personalities like Ray Barnett ( who we all refer to as Daddy Ray ), and all the sponsors that never give up on the children who need their help, “challenge me to be a better person.”
In his future prospects Robert hopes to see himself working in his own community, helping someone else and using his talents to reach out to them.
He further says, “My perspective of life is centered on what the Choir did for me. The Choir’s story is one of sacrifice, love, hope, sharing, caring, reaching out, and breaking boundaries and every other word that may define what one can do to help another.”
“The Choir has impacted my life in tremendous ways, with visible elements such as good health, education, and a fulfilling job, to mention but a few. I have been rehabilitated spiritually and emotionally by the Choir,” he adds.
Among his many talents is music. Robert started playing music in Church, singing with friends in choirs, although he says that dancing is not his strength. Despite having composed numerous songs, he has only managed to record two of his own, that are both in Luganda, his native language.
“I played one of my songs for Sara Hickman, a re-known country music singer in the US, and she loved it,” he smiles.
Robert is currently working on one of his very own compositions, which Barbara Serunjoji, the Choir Music Director for the ACC asked him to share with the Choir for the 30th anniversary celebrations.
Also, the ACC primary school anthem is one of his original pieces.
“I want to use my talent primarily to touch and change lives,” he concludes.
Meet Vicent, this is him standing with his older brother outside the one room home their mother rents in Kasubi, Uganda. Each door houses a different family.
Vicent is 9 years old and is currently attending our Choir Training Facility in Kampala, Uganda. He is getting ready to tour with Choir 44.
Vicent’s mother, Grace, works hard to provide what she can for Vicent and his three siblings. She has no choice but to work long hours selling second hand clothes. Grace is alone in her efforts to care for her children, Vicent’s father died four years ago.
She does all she can to provide, but alone Grace struggles. Food or education, a choice no mother should ever have to make.
Please make a $30 contribution to our #30for30 campaign so we can help more children like Vicent.
This is the 27th African Children’s Choir.
This Choir performed at the UN General Assembly Hall, sang at ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History pre Oscar event. The children recorded with artists; Jars of Clay, Stephen Curtis Chapman and Gaither Vocal Band. The group performed at Hope & Healing concerts and also recorded on the soundtrack for the Warner Brothers movie “Blood Diamond”.
What a tour Choir 27! Please give $30 today so we can continue the African Children’s Choir program for the next 30 years!
As we continue to highlight our 30 year history through our #30for30 campaign we would like to invite you to post a video on social media sharing your ACC story using the hashtag #ACCandME.
What is your favorite ACC memory, how have the Choir inspired you?
Don’t forget to ask people to go to www.accgive.com to donate $30 in celebration of our 30 years.
Here is our Choir Manager Tina sharing her ACC experience…
Charles Ng’ang’a became a part of the African Children’s Choir family way back in 1993, touring with the 10th choir. In 1995 he was among the lucky few to go back on tour with the first mixed Choir of children from Kenya and Uganda.
On returning home Charles joined Kaptagat Preparatory School, located in his home town Eldoret, where he was appointed assistant class representative. Academically, he was gleaming and eventually passed with flying colors in the final National Exams.
Later in 2001, Charles joined Nairobi School, which is classified as a National School in Kenya, one of the very best. He chaired various student clubs, but most notably the Drama Club and the Rugby Team Club.
After completing his Secondary Level Education, his good performance landed him to one of Kenya’s finest universities, The University of Nairobi to pursue a degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.
He says, “I graduated from University and later landed my first job, as a Manager with a building and cilvil engineering contractor.’ He currently works in a managerial role in the Engineering and Construction industry.
His dream is to inspire those around him. ‘I believe that without the ACC my life would have been so different from what it is now,” he comments. And adds that, “I wouldn’t trade what I have with the ACC for anything in the world. It is more than family.”
In his free time, Charles loves going out and meeting new friends. He is also passionate about sports, mostly Rugby and Soccer. In appreciation he lastly says, “I believe the work of the African Children’s Choir, has made a remarkable change in the lives of so many African families.
Please allow us to help more children like Charles become Africa’s future leaders by donating to our #30for30 campaign today.