How we started

In 1984, in the midst of Uganda’s bloody civil war, human rights activist Ray Barnett was called on to help the many thousands of orphaned and starving children, abandoned and helpless to feed and protect themselves.

Realising the enormity of the task Ray and his team came up with a unique approach. The only way to make a meaningful difference was to impact the lives of these children, one child at a time.

“Inspired by the singing of one small boy, we formed the first African Children’s Choir to show the world that Africa’s most vulnerable children have beauty, dignity and unlimited ability.”

Watch a short documentary about the Choir, see Ray Barnett talk about how the Choir began… then, read on, and become involved!

The first Choir was formed in 1984, selected from orphaned and vulnerable children in the Kampala and Luwero areas of Uganda. After the Choir was trained to perform and readied for living in new and different cultures, the children travelled from Uganda to tour amongst the North American Church communities.

They immediately impressed audiences with their vibrancy and outstanding musical talent. They quickly became a mouthpiece for the plight of the many thousands of vulnerable children like them in Uganda. The funds they earned through donations provided for their own support and education and more!

The proceeds of the first African Children’s Choir tour also funded the building of an orphanage back in Kampala from which a second African Children’s Choir was selected.

And so the story of the Choir’s work began. In the early years they would tour principally in United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The proceeds of their tours, and the sponsorship support they would attract, funded a growing program of establishing literacy schools to enable the very neediest children to get a foot up into proper education.

Meanwhile, the continuing care, education and development of returning Choir children was assured through the proceeds of Choir tours and the generosity of sponsors and donors.

To date over a thousand vulnerable children have been through the Choir program and the funds they have generated have provided the opportunity of education and hope for many thousands like them in some of the most desperate and needy areas of Africa.

You can view photographs of the African Children’s Choir through the years and its achievements by going to the Choir Gallery and Where we work pages of this website.