African Children's Choir Changes Lives

African Children's Choir i i

African Children's Choir Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
African Children's Choir

African Children's Choir

Courtesy of the artist

Two dozen boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 11 practice in the rehearsal room of a concert hall in Salt Lake City. They are halfway through a yearlong tour, in which they'll perform more than 200 shows across the U.S. When they're done, they'll head back to some of the poorest countries in Africa — and a new life. The African Children's Choir aims to rescue poverty-stricken kids by harnessing the power of song.

Chimera Victor is a chaperone with the children's choir. He says that when he was growing up, anyone — even someone who wasn't a relative — would discipline a child doing something wrong. In that way, whole villages really did raise the children.

The African Children's Choir goes to the neediest places — those hardest hit by disease, war or poverty. The children are brought to a training academy for about four months, Victor says, and then they join the choir. The children tour for 12 to 15 months, and when they go home, they go to a Music for Life center to get an education. Victor himself was chosen from an orphanage to join the choir: Music for Life paid for his schooling up to the university level, and when he graduated, he came back to the choir to volunteer.

Also in this story, Victor and a little girl named Patience talk about their work in the choir.

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