As the snow falls here in the UK and we reflect on the events of the summer 2016 tour, it all just seems so long ago. The children have now returned home and we are left once again feeling incredibly grateful and blown away by the sheer generosity of each of you who saw and heard “The Singing Children of Africa 2016 I smile tour”.
It certainly was an eventful few weeks with fantastic performances from the choir at various church buildings, shopping centres, town halls and schools up and down the country. Not to mention a spontaneous marriage proposal at their concert in Dundee! They have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of their audience and sharing with them their story
and talents. They have loved to see you enjoy their music and take interest in each of their lives and learning their very special names. They have a great love for their host families and have created life long friendships with those who so selflessly sponsor them.
To run a tour like this with each of their visas, transport, food, costumes, coaches and everything else required that goes into the care and safety of the children equates to around £38,000…but thanks to the generosity of so many we have not only been able to cover those costs this year, but raise a further £40,000! which will go a long way to expanding and improving our facilities, offering an education to more children of Africa!
As a spectator to their performances, it is hard not to be moved by each unique life story, or elated by the feel good singing and dancing and we are grateful for each of the tweets, blogs, instagrams and facebook comments you sent to confirm you loved them just as much as we do. Many come for a cultural experience or something different to fill their time with, others stumble across them whilst out and about, but each who see and listen leave touched by what they have witnessed. Many of those people (many of you) had a desire to act on that, and as a result you have played an amazing part in organising, hosting, transporting, promoting and loving.
The tour not only saw performances up and down the country, but behind the scenes the choir enjoyed a ball in Bradford
Mingling at the Scottish Parliament with Derek Mackay (thank you Derek)
Cook and Indis was a firm favourite in feeding them on a couple of occasions and also being so generous as to buy each
member of the choir a jacket (very useful with our British weather).
And so as we leave the fond memories of Summer 2016 behind, we thank you – really, we couldn’t do this without you… from the lovely families that opened your homes to host them on their tour to the 70 new sponsors that put feelings into action from seeing the performances. We thank businesses who kindly jumped on board with financial support; Hippychick in Somerset, Springfield properties in Scotland, Share Gift in London. The numerous restaurants that fed the children for free, the schools that welcomed them, Lisa Kowalski the busker who is now contributing a percentage of her takings to Educate the kids, McGILLS buses who provided local transport for the children in Scotland free of charge Each one has their own tale to tell of how being with, seeing or listening to “The Singing Children of Africa” affected them, but we can tell you that the difference you have made to them cannot be put into words, it’s truly magnificent and genuinely life changing! So thank you for helping us fulfil our dream in improving the lives of the children of Africa through education.
The tour started off in Scotland and ended there three months later. What was very evident to the people who meet the children on both occasions was how much they had developed in their confidence, language and people skills. The children are a credit to their country, families and school. Many of you have said that your lives have been changed in the process of getting to know these children, so I guess thats also of cultural benefit to us! …maybe will will be more grateful for what we have …more generous in our outlook to those in need ….so I guess taking all this in to consideration the answer would have to be YES…it was worth it!
What about next year …a question we are being asked several times a week at the moment ..we need to let the dust settle, whilst we are planning and working all the logistics for a tour, there are so many other jobs that simply don’t get done which need our attention! And the children need to concentrate on their education! …but watch this space and if you want to offer to fund raise for us please get in touch!