Inspired by a young boy, who despite the circumstances, kept singing throughout Uganda’s civil war in 1984, the human rights activist Ray Barnett decided to start the first African Children’s Choir to show the world all the beauty and talent of those boys and girls. Ray, along with some friends, started to promote positive changes for orphans and starving children they found in Kampala and Lowero, both in Uganda. They wanted to impact the life of one children at a time, showing them love and care, and giving them the opportunity to achieve a better education.
The main idea behind the Music For Life Institute (MFLI) is to “help Africa’s most vulnerable children today, so they can help Africa tomorrow”. Throughout its 18 years of existance, MFLI, through the Choir and all its other programs, has supported more than a thousand children in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda.
There’s a selection process to become a member of the African Children’s Choir. All interested children, normally aged between 7 and 11 years, have to attend the Music For Life camp. Once the child is selected, the Music for Life team analyses if this child is able to go for a tour life. Then, all new members of African Children’s Choir spend nearly 5 months learning music, dance and participating in bible studies at a local church, in Kampala, to get ready for touring. Finally, after the tour, they return to their countries and start an educational and leadership development at African Children’s Choir Primary School.
There are several ways to help MFLI to keep its work of giving Africa’s youth a new perspective. More information is provided at they official website. You can also meet some of the faces behind the voices in the video above.