Choir makes a welcome return

The Pearl of Africa Children's Choir performing to the crowds in Morpeth Market Place during last year's tour.
The Pearl of Africa Children's Choir performing to the crowds in Morpeth Market Place during last year's tour.

A GROUP of internationally-wwrenowned performers is returning to Morpeth this month.

The Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir from Uganda is once again touring the country to support the work of UK-based charity Pearl of Africa Child Care.

It raises money for the Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation, which gives young people from one of the world’s poorest nations a safe place to live and the chance of an education.

During their time in Northumberland, which includes visits to Morpeth and Ponteland, the youngsters will also be spending time with children in local schools to share their culture and give workshops.

The talented singers, dancers and drummers are some of the two million orphans in Uganda as a result of HIV/AIDS, disease and war.

They are currently being cared for in schools run by the foundation in the country, which provides a free or subsidised education to more than 2,200 children in seven schools in the Kampala and Masaka districts.

There is also a Children’s Village in the village of Kamuzinda, which includes a farm school and a clinic that provides primary healthcare for the local community.

Co-founder of the Molly and Paul Child Care Foundation Paul Wasswa said: “The children at these schools have a real hunger and passion to learn. They see a good education as a passport to a better life, and we want to be able to continue to provide them with this opportunity.”

Money raised by Pearl of Africa Child Care helps the charity to give the children shelter, food and healthcare, as well as pay teachers’ salaries and for the upkeep of the buildings. Donations also buy vital equipment including mosquito nets.

In recent years the choir has performed a mix of traditional African music, dance and drumming in the UK, USA and Ireland and last year’s UK tour brought in more than £100,000.

Morpeth resident Kim Black, who is a trustee for Pearl of Africa Child Care, said: “It costs just £15 a month to care for one child at a school.

“We really hope that people will come out and show their support for the charity by coming along to see the fantastic show the choir will be putting on.”

Their performances are as follows – Saturday: Morpeth Market Place, between 1pm and 3pm, and Morpeth Methodist Church from 7pm.

Monday: Scots Gap Methodist Church from 7pm.

Thursday, September 22: Richard Coates Middle School, Ponteland, from 7pm.

Friday, September 23: Chantry Middle School, Morpeth, from 7pm.

Saturday, September 24: Morpeth Riverside Leisure Centre from 7pm.

Entrance to the Riverside concert is £5 and tickets are available by ringing 01670 514665. A small entrance fee may be charged for the other concerts.

You can also donate online at www.pearlofafrica.org.uk or text an amount, for example ‘Care38 £5’ to 70070.