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African Children’s Choir returns to Australia, rescuing Ugandans from slums and providing an education

ABC News article | 11th May 2018

Changing the lives of young Africans

Since it was started in 1984, the UBUNTU African Children’s Choir has helped more than 55,000 children leave African slums and go to good schools. The choir provides the children with a full education and the opportunity to tour the world performing in the choir.

There are currently 180 children in primary school in Uganda who have been scouted to be part of the choir, and many more in highschool and university. They raise money for the choir through their tours and through sponsorship and partnership with Australian Organisations such as Kwaya, an Australian charity which fosters cross-cultural connections through music.

Emmanual Mutsinzi is one of 14 students in the UBUNTU African Children’s Choir singing his way around the country on their Australian tour, but life wasn’t always this good for the 21-year-old Ugandan. He was raised by his Aunt in the Kampala slum settlement in Kasubi, one of Uganda’s biggest, noisiest and most dangerous slums. In the Kampala slums it is not uncommon for one father to be supporting six or more families, and there is limited opportunity to receive an education because there is not free access to schooling in Uganda.

Mr Mutsinzi said if he had not been scouted by the African Children’s Choir when he was in primary school, his life would have been very different. “Growing up there, children in Kasubi are faced with things like drugs, malnourishment and alcoholism. Basically everyone there faces poverty,” he said.

Choir on tour Down Under

The choir will spend April and May touring Australia supported by Kwaya, which has been sending volunteers to Africa since 2011 to assist with the African Children’s Choir, and will perform in Sydney, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains, up the coast of NSW and as far north as the Sunshine Coast.

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