SGI-USA Chicago Hosts SIFA Africa Children's Choir Performance
On August 23, 2008, the SGI-USA Chicago Culture Center was the venue for a performance by the SIFA Africa Children's Choir from Masaka, Uganda. SIFA--Swahili for "praise"--is composed of children representing fellow orphans in Uganda and other displaced children throughout Africa. The choir has been touring the United States since April 2008 to raise funds to complete the Glory Children City Project, which will provide housing and education for many of the choir children and other orphans.
In the small town from which the choir singers hail, 12 miles from the nearest paved road, nearly all the adults were swept away by HIV and AIDS more than a decade ago.
SIFA sang songs in Swahili and English, while the Pearls of Africa Dancers performed traditional African dance. The audience included Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. senator and ambassador to New Zealand, and Kenneth Dunkin, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.
The audience was deeply moved by the choir. One spectator shared that although the children have endured many tragedies, they conveyed the deepest confidence for a better future through sharing their hope-filled songs and lively dances.
Following its performance, the SIFA Choir collected donations for the Glory Children City Project as well as sold its CD, Together We Can, proceeds from which help to fund the project.
[Adapted from an article in the September 12, 2008 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photo courtesy of Laura Hamm Goetschel]