For this particular choir, music is the sound of hope.
The Asante Children’s Choir’s Sound of Hope tour will be performing at the Penticton Alliance Church on Nov. 23 to raise awareness for its campaign and to enjoy some song and dance.
The choir is made up of 15 children, ages 11-16, from Uganda and this marks the first trip to Canada for the organization.
The show is free with the opportunity to make a goodwill offering which helps sustain the choir and the Asante sponsorship program.
The choir will be performing both Christian music in the worship style and Ugandan songs with a little more upbeat dancing and drums.
Karen Klippenstein, tour co-ordinator with the Asante Children’s Choir, says that song and dance are very much the same to the children.
“One of the kids told me ‘the difference between singing and dancing is nothing. It’s the same thing. If you’re singing then you’re dancing, if you’re dancing then you’re singing,” Klippenstein said.
Proceeds from the concerts go towards paying choir expenses like flight tickets and the costs of travelling. Anything the choir makes in excess of their expenditures goes towards the next tour, with the goal of becoming self-sustaining.
The Asante organization works in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda helping sponsor children to provide them with basic necessities.
“Our main objective is to get the children sponsored. To get them fed, get them education, clothing and get a better life for them,” Klippenstein said.
Asante has been working in African countries for the past 12 years, providing aid to widows by providing opportunities for them to gain skills and find work. Asante also works to help orphaned children.
The choir acts as an awareness campaign while simultaneously providing the children with support and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“It’s a wonderful experience for them. I mean how many people would love to travel across Canada, which is wonderful, never mind that they’re not from here and they get this experience of traveling the country,” Klippenstein said.
The choir is also billeted in different homes across the country giving them an opportunity to take in the subtleties of Canadian culture. Being able to tour across the country and play music in a multitude of venues has a profound effect on the children as well according to Klippenstein.
“They are constantly performing for crowds as well so that’s kind of neat for them,” Klippenstein said. “It raises awareness kind of even in their own minds as to what they can become and what a better life possibly looks like for them.”
For more information on the Asante orginization visit www.asantecanada.ca