Saturday, August 16, 2008
On Thursday, my kids and I went to our elementary school for a free concert given by The Singing Children of Africa, a choir from Kenya. My eyes teared up the second these bright-eyed, fresh-faced kids danced in.
It all started when Maureen McIntyre and her husband were in Kenya on a vacation. Circumstances led them to a little boy named Samson Chivatsi, a boy that they ended up sponsoring. After helping poverty-stricken children gain access to education (from which some of their funds were used elsewhere), they decided to open up their own school in an old disco club. They named it the Samson Civatsi African Children's Appeal. The school employs over 40 local people ) a huge boost to the community), and is educating over 750 children at this time. Things that have been noted in the community with the addition of this school is peace in a time when other areas of Kenya are surrounded in violence. (Did any of you read Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortensen? It teaches the same principle, give children a future by educating them and you will have less violence and war.) Their booklet says that recently the charity has acquired some traditional African houses next to the orphanage (another charity they started) that will be converted to workshops for making jewelry and other local crafts, providing jobs and skills training for the young people of the village. Can you imagine how much of a difference this one woman's goal to enhance the life of the people in this village?
In any case, I was so touched by these children who were singing and dancing. Many of them are orphans that have found a home in this charity. They tour in order to raise money to build, furnish and fund the Joshua Tree orphanage, to make others aware of this charity's work. We left donations as we left. I think a lot of time we are looking to help in some small way, but don't know where to begin or don't feel like we have the time. If you feel like you want to learn more, go to http://www.educatethekids.com/ and http://www.singingchildrenofafrica.org.uk/Welcome.html.
This is out of character for me, I don't like to feel as though I am preaching, but I wanted to share how this touched me.