A CHOIR from overseas thrilled crowds across Northumberland during their stay.
After bringing their musical talent and infectious energy to Morpeth Market Place for their first concert, the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir from Uganda went on a tour of the county as part of its UK visit.
Other performance venues included Stobhillgate First School and Abbeyfields First School in Morpeth, Richard Coates Middle School in Ponteland, Morpeth Methodist Church and Whalton Village Show.
The trip has been organised to support the work of the Molly and Paul Childcare Foundation, which aims to give young people from one of the world’s poorest nations a safe place to live and the chance of an education.
Total income from Northumberland grossed £13,000, with the hope of more to come over the next few weeks.
The foundation is supported by UK registered charity The Pearl of Africa Child Care.
Trustee Colin Blyth, of Stobhill, said: “Without the kindness and support of the children and people of the area, many more children in Uganda would go hungry.
“We are so grateful to all those who have supported the choir, most especially our host families, Draegar, local schools, knitters at the Treacle Wool Shop who made hats, gloves and scarves for the choir members and Morpeth Methodist Church.
“It’s incredible how much the choir has raised in our local community, enabling us to provide porridge on a daily basis to all the children at the Molly and Paul schools.”
The singers, dancers and drummers are some of the 1.5million orphans in Uganda as a result of HIV/AIDS, disease and war. They are currently being cared for along with more than 2,200 other children in seven schools across the Kampala and Masaka districts.
Funds are also needed to buy vital equipment such as mosquito nets, with malaria being the main cause of mortality in Uganda.
Rose Kayiggwa, Headteacher at the New Kabaale Busaga Primary School in Kampala, said: “It costs just £15 a month to care for one child at a school. The people of Northumberland have once more given us real hope for the future through their generosity.”
Pearl of Africa Child Care is currently looking for volunteers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, in January 2014. For more information about the challenge or to make a donation, visit www.pearlofafrica.org.uk