The highlight of this year’s Christmas in the Valley celebration at Northfield Baptist Church will be the African Children’s Choir, a group that tours North America every two years to raise awareness of the need of destitute and orphaned children in Africa and to raise funds for continued development and support for children in seven African nations.
While the choir is scheduled to perform at 5:30 p.m., the community is invited to arrive at 4:30 p.m. to enjoy food, crafts and other holiday activities. Following the concert, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony and treats.
Church secretary Kathleen Phillips, who arranged for the choir to come to Northfield Baptist Church Dec. 11, says she has hosted the children on four previous occasions in other towns.
“Most of the time, these kids have lost parents, or both parents,” she said. “The African Children’s Choir is a way to raise money to continue their education programs in Africa. Every time we have housed them, we have been the ones who have received the blessing.”
The 18 boys and girls from Uganda will arrive on Dec. 11 after a performance in Chesterland earlier in the day.
They will stay with host families from Northfield Baptist until their next performance, which will be Dec. 14 in Euclid. After their performance Sunday night, the children will spend the next two days in class at the church, as continuing their education is a requirement for them to be able to tour.
The program features African songs and dances, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites. The concert is free and open to all, but free-will offerings will be taken at the performance to support African Children’s Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development programs.
Music for Life (The parent organization for The African Children’s Choir) works in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history. MFL purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa, by focusing on education.
Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433