African dances, lively spirituals and beloved gospel and children's songs from Africa will be performed by the African Children's Choir, which is visiting Portland and Vancouver through Nov. 19.
The African Children's Choir will perform at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at 5700 SW Dosch Rd. Portland Christian Center and at 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 5325 N. Williams Ave.
On Nov. 19 the choir will perform at 6 p.m. in the Glenwood Community Church, Vancouver.
The African Children's Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping Africa's most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.
Concerts are free and open to all. A free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African Children's Choir education, care, and relief and development programs.
The African Children's Choir is composed of 26 children, ages 6 to 10. Many have lost one or both parents to AIDS or are in extreme poverty. Through their concerts they raise support and awareness for more than 12 million orphans in Africa.
Since its inception 22 years ago, the African Children's Choir has established schools and provided educational scholarships in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The African Children's Choir is providing an education for over 6,700 children from primary school through the university or trade school.
"Our organization recognized early on that education was the key to long-term change and advancement in Africa and made it our primary focus," said Ray Barnett, founder of the African Children's Choir. "Twenty-two years later, we are beginning to see the impact. The children who participated in our first choirs and benefited from the educational support we provided them have come full circle and are now, themselves, working to create a new Africa."
The former choir members — many of them orphans who spent their early days scavenging for food and water — have become leaders in their communities. Some have become doctors, teachers, social workers and engineers. Several are working with Music for Life, the choir's parent organization, to help it continue to carry out the mission.
In addition to education efforts, the choir finances numerous relief and development projects throughout Africa, with current emphasis on the AIDS-devastated nKomazi region of South Africa and war-torn Sudan.
For more information on the African Children's Choir and an overview of its programs and projects, visit the Web site www.africanchildrenschoir.com or email [email protected].