The African Children’s Choir will be visiting the Hope Grace Baptist Church on Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m., and admission is by donation. (Submitted)

African Children’s Choir sings for Hope

Choir fundraises to educate African children in an attempt to end poverty across the continent

A group of 17 eight to 10-year-olds are visiting Hope in May during their global tour to break the cycle of poverty on the second largest, and second most-populated continent on Earth, Africa, through song.

The African Children’s Choir will be visiting the Grace Baptist Church on Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m., to treat audiences to their acoustic delivery of songs meant to send the heart and soul soaring.

“Instead of tickets, we ask for a (financial) love offering,” explained Tina Sipp, the Choir’s manager. “We want people to give generously and see this as an investment” in the future of not only these children, but the countries they hail from as a whole.

“Education is what breaks the cycle of poverty,” Sipp continued, so it’s the Choir’s purpose to educate as many African children as possible. “By helping Africa’s children today, they can help Africa tomorrow.”

By becoming part of the Choir, “these children get an education they wouldn’t otherwise get—even government-run schools can’t be afforded, so how can they access their potential if they can’t get education?”

That’s why all money raised by the tour, which is the Choir’s major fundraising effort, is used to create education programs for not only the participating children, but another 1,000 children across four of Africa’s poorest countries. Since its conception 35 years ago, the African Children’s Choir has helped more than 52,000 obtain an education they would have otherwise gone without.

And Sipp, who’s been with the organization for 16 years, says she’s seen first-hand the difference an education makes for a child.

“How often do we get to do something really profound? I think this could be that (for many people),” Sipp said during a telephone interview. “To invest in a real life, (and see) the opportunities this (generates is impactful), it creates a 180-degree change (for the children).

“What may not be (a lot of money) for us, will change the entire course of their life,” Sipp added.

But first, the children must sing—and sing they do.

Before heading out on tour, which lasts up to nine months, the Choir trains for six months and—for many members—begin their education journey. From the moment they join the Choir, members are enrolled into education programming that extends throughout their time on tour, and is blended into their education plans once returning home.

“I’ve seen the full circle,” she continued. Having toured in 2003 with a group, Sipp says she’s had the pleasure of seeing the benefits of the Choir extend beyond the tour, and has enjoyed watching the children grow into successful adults.

“We take on their education until they’re done, whatever that may mean for them—be it post secondary or vocational training. One (previous Choir member) got a full-ride scholarship to a US university, and she’s going to make a difference in the educational system of her country, guaranteed.

“The tour is not the end for these children, it’s almost like their beginning.”

To learn more about the African Children’s Choir, please visit their website at AfricanChildrensChoir.com.


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
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Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

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