Between Friends – March

Battling the cycle of poverty is a dynamic challenge, a challenge that requires long-term commitment, investment and consistency amidst harsh environments. It requires overcoming many obstacles and an unwavering faith that God will continue to guide, provide and lead us to His plan in our lives. Each year we celebrate our university graduates. This year we are highlighting young women who have overcome their circumstances to achieve milestones that are statistically stacked against them. Please meet some of our 2017 university graduates:

 

Shirley
Nkomazi Choir

Shirley graduated with a diploma in clinical engineering from Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria and is now employed at a medical technology company in Johannesburg.

 

 

 

 

 

Linnet
Choir 21

After graduating High School, she toured with the first Young Africans, after which she returned back home and joined Makerere University. She is now a graduate with a degree in music, dance, and drama, as a dance major. Linnet also toured with Choir 47 as the choir conductor.

 

 

 

 

Patricia
Choir 19

Patricia graduated from Kyambogo University with a degree in social work and community development. As a social worker, she hopes to work with disadvantaged children, to help them make the best choices in life. Patricia is forever grateful for the work of the African Children’s Choir.

 

 

 

Sandra
Choir 19

Sandra graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from Makerere University. She can’t wait to make the world a better place with her journalism skills.

 

 

 

 

 

Vanessa
Nkomazi Choir

Vanessa attended her graduation with friends and family as she received a diploma in human resource management. Vanessa has been working in the Nelspruit Municipality HR department since her placement as part of her course.

 

 

 

 

Deborah
Choir 21

Deborah graduated with a degree in ethics and human rights from Makerere University. She is very excited to make the world a better place.

 

 

 

 

 

Eveline
Choir 22

Eveline graduated with a degree in environmental science from Egerton University, Kenya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robinah
Choir 24

Robinah graduated with a degree in development economics from Makerere University. She hopes to pursue a successful career as an economist or accountant.

 

 

 

 

 

Priscilla
Choir 23

Priscilla graduated with a degree in international relations Uganda Christian University. She hopes to become the force of change in Uganda’s governance system someday.

 

 

 

 

 

Naomi
Choir 21

Naomi graduated with a degree in information technology and business computing from Makerere University Business School. Naomi will also be graduating with top honors, with a CGPA of 4.68 (The best grade being a CGPA of 5).

 

 

 

 

 

Justine
Choir 21

Justine graduated with a degree in ethics and human rights from Makerere University. Justine hopes to reach out to her community through humanitarian work, advocating for children’s rights here in Uganda, so that they too can have their rights fulfilled such as a right to having an education and also living a life free of violence.

 

 

 

Joyce
Choir 23

Joyce graduated with a degree in tourism from Makerere University.“Through the Choir, I got a loving big family and friends who have always loved and supported me in everything I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

Esther
Choir 23

Esther graduated with a certificate in midwifery from Nsambya Hospital Training School. Esther is also working with the African Children’s Choir as the school nurse.

 

 

 

 

 

Allen
Choir 21

Allen graduated with a certificate in clinical medicine and community health from International Health Sciences University, Uganda. She says she cannot wait to make the difference in her country through serving in the health sector.

 

 

 

 

Grace
Choir 24

Grace graduated with an advanced diploma in information systems from Akilah Institute in Kigali, Rwanda. Grace says she feels empowered by her education to focus on building customized web applications for business. Grace also enjoys volunteering with Music for Life outreach programs in Rwanda.

 

 

 

 

Empower International Academy

Empower International Academy

In December 2016 we broke ground on Empower International Academy. The project seemed quite impossible a few years ago when it was nothing but an idea on spreadsheets and a few structural drawings. The purpose of the project was to deliver an international standard, Christian-character focused education program to the next generation of African Children’s Choir members and beyond.

It was a big leap of faith to move forward with our plans and there were plenty of potential risks, delays, and discouragements. We are a relatively small organization and to pull this off we would need plenty of help. We partnered with Empower African Children, an organization with a similar vision and like-minded team. Engineering Ministries International came on board to draw up plans and manage construction, Living Water International and Ecclesia Church secured a clean water supply. Kwaya Australia and some very generous friends caught the vision and have supported the project financially. We are so grateful to God for the amazing work and people He has brought together to pursue this dream.

Now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We expect the construction of phase I to be complete in May with high-quality structures in place and finances managed to budget. Our education consultant has lent international Christian education expertise to the framework of the curriculum, policies and staffing needs and we are confident that our first students will begin classes in February of 2019.

We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of getting this project this far. Please enjoy a few photos from the ongoing construction of the school. God is faithful!

We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of getting this project this far. We have just a few more needs to complete this project, please click here for more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between Friends Spring 2014 Edition

Welcome to the Spring Edition of Between Friends. This quarterly newsletter includes updates about the Choir and features stories about our field programs in Africa. Please provide your email address below if you would like to be notified when new editions are published. Enjoy!

We respect your privacy, and we will not fill your email box with spam, and we never share any of our supporter’s and friend’s email addresses with anyone else.

When love found Kivulu

Report from Sharifa, our Music for Life Team Leader in Kivulu, Uganda:

Our Music for Life Center team, comprising of five dedicated former African Children's Choir members, conducts a center at Grace Fellowship Primary School every Friday from midday to 2:00pm. The school is located in one of the worst slums in Uganda known as Kivulu.

Children fetching water in Kivulu slum

Children fetching water in Kivulu slum

Kivulu slum in Uganda

Kivulu slum in Uganda

The primary two kids, who have shattered pasts, have devotions together and share Bible stories. They are taught music, dance and life skills. The Word and love offered brings them healing and hope and a better outlook on life as a whole. They also get a chance to play games which lightens the mood and brings smiles to their pretty faces. At the end of the day they are provided with lunch, and to them it's the best part of the day, since some of them can go days without a meal given the high rates of poverty in the country.

Children attending the Music for Life Center in Kivulu

Children attending the Music for Life Center in Kivulu

Kivulu Music for Life Center

The joy of song during a session at the Music for Life Center

When talking about the Music for Life Center, Miriam, a teacher at Grace Fellowship Primary School says “Thank you for giving hope to these children, most of them only know life on the streets and that's what they have embraced, but the love you show them has made a difference.”

It is with your love and support that we are able to fund projects like the Music for Life Center in Kivulu. The African Children's Choir continue to be the ambassadors for children back home in Africa, from destitute areas such as Kivulu. The Choir raise funds and awareness so Music for Life can continue to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in Africa.

Find out more about where Music for Life works and how you can support us today.

Kivulu Music for Life Center

Turning sorrow into smiles in Kivulu

 

 

 

 

A Director's Blog – Uganda

African Children’s Choir Primary School

There are roughly 25 staff members at the African Children’s Choir Primary School, including teachers, dorm parents, a nurse, cooks, and guards/gardeners. Our visit was a good time to truly appreciate the incredible job they all do, evident in the Primary 7 exam results each year, and the general atmosphere at the school.

The students have a feeling of seriousness toward their studies, a joyfulness, and an appreciation for the opportunity to be in such a school. It was great to see the students in class, walking quietly from class to class, enjoying their lunch, playing soccer and generally moving through their usual school day.

The campus is beautiful. The grass is growing, flowers are blooming, buildings have been painted inside and out, and there is a lovely mural on the front wall of the classroom block.

The last Sunday that Sally and I were in Uganda, we joined the 140 students for their Sunday morning worship service. The P3 class led the singing – altogether it was six African Children’s Choirs lifting their voices in worship, clapping and singing with all their hearts.

Choir Alumni

That same Sunday afternoon Sally and I visited the homes of some of our grown-up Choir alumni. Our first stop was the home of Jessica and Christopher Katumba. Jessica is one of the oldest of our first Choir young people. She has been married to Christopher, a former chaperone from ACC4 for approximately 10 years. In between working full time, raising a family of four boys, and being active in church, Jessica has pursued her Master’s Degree in Counselling.

What a pleasure it was to visit the home they have built over the years – literally brick by brick – with their four darling boys.

After we left the Katumbas, we drove a short way to Barnett and Diana Twesigonmwe’s new house. Just across the road from them is Barbara Kayaga’s home, where she lives with her two adopted sons.

Student Ministries


Once again a highly anticipated team from Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) in Abbotsford, British Columbia made its way to the African Children’s Choir Primary School for a little over a week.

It was a great time for the ACCPS students as they learned more about Canada – the favorite animal was none other than the polar bear – and had fun participating in new games and crafts. The week was topped off with a nice huge mango for all the students on the afternoon they said their goodbyes.

The MEI team brought many smiles to all the students, but as the time together came to an end, it was interesting to see how the students who came to reach out, were in many ways the ones being ministered too. The MEI crew left challenged to make a difference and improve their surroundings back in North America. It was encouraging to see the bond that had been created in this short time and a twinkle in the eye of the administrators to know that the students at the African Children’s Choir Primary School are not only making a difference when they were performing all over the world but also while they are at home in Africa.

A Bird's Eye View

ACCPS P7 Results

Once again, P7 students at the African Children’s Choir Primary School, in Entebbe Uganda, have recorded outstanding results in their national school-leaving exams!

Twenty-nine students wrote the exams in November. Competition is fierce as students compete for top results to enter good secondary schools.

Marking takes a long time as there are over 10,000 exam centers in Uganda where multiple schools can write at each exam center. Graders are kept in an enclosed facility and are even required to give up their phones during the 3 to 4-week marking period.

There are a total of four main divisions that begin at the top with one and work down to division four. National schools results are based on the percentage of division one grades.

Of the 29 ACCPS children who wrote the exam 24 achieved a first-class pass. These are excellent results by any measure, however, they are made so much more outstanding when one considers the adverse family situations that these children come from as well as the relatively late academic start they had before they were admitted into the African Children’s Choir program.

Please continue to pray for these children as they enter secondary school and start a new chapter of their lives that will present them with new challenges to overcome.

Taylor Kitsch – in Africa!

Taylor Kitsch took a break from his busy filming schedule to come to Uganda with us! Check out this video post for an update!

Taylor is staring in the upcoming movie from Disney, John Carter, which is due to be released in March 2012

Bio

Taylor recently wrapped filming of the upcoming 2012 Oliver Stone film “Savages.” Based on the novel by Don Winslow, Kitsch stars as Chon, a free-spirited Laguna Beach pot grower, who is forced to face off against the Baja Mexican cartel when they try to get a piece of his lucrative business. The film also stars Salma Hayek, Blake Lively and the riveting Benicio Del Toro.

Kitsch was most recently seen on the big screen in Steven Silver’s “The Bang Bang Club,” which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. As Kevin Carter, Kitsch played one of four young photojournalists whose graphic images chronicled the last stages in the death throes of the South African system of apartheid. Based on a true story, this gripping drama tackled the moral questions of whether to shoot or help in situations of extreme conflict. The film was also screened on April 21st at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, after which it was theatrically released the next day.

Filmmaker Peter Berg cast Kitsch in the lead role of Alex Hopper for the big-budget film, “Battleship,” which will be released in theaters nationwide on May 18th, 2012. The alien-invasion flick’s cast is rounded out by Liam Neeson, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgard. Berg previously directed the actor on NBC’s critically-acclaimed sports drama “Friday Night Lights” (based on Berg’s 2004 feature film). Kitsch played the role of Tim Riggins, a troubled Texas high school fullback who struggled to find his identity while wrestling with personal demons. The fifth and final season of “Friday Night Lights” premiered April 15, 2011.