12 Million Orphans Campaign: International Launch

As the seat of Northern Ireland’s government, Parliament Buildings, Stormont has witnessed many momentous events and welcomed dignitaries from around the world. The impressive building is well used to the sound of parliamentary debates and political wrangles. But on 26th September 2009, a new sound will echo around its historic Great Hall when the Music for Life / African Children’s Choir organisation marks their jubilee year with the international launch of their 12 Million AIDS Orphans Campaign.

Before a select audience of local celebrities, representatives of the country’s top businesses, sporting personalities, diplomats and politicians, including Northern Ireland’s First Minister, the choir will give a unique performance and allow the Province a glimpse of true African beauty. During the evening guests will be given an insight into the fascinating history of the organisation as well as a presentation of its new campaign.

There will be a strong Irish/Canadian feel to the evening as, although MFL’s headquarters are in Vancouver, its founder and CEO, Mr Ray Barnett, himself an orphan, hails from Coleraine. The Honorary Canadian Consul Mrs Lynne Zeller and members of the Irish Canadian Society and the Ireland Canada Business Association will attend as guests.

Other international guests include the newly arrived US Consul General to Belfast Mrs Kamala Lakhdir and the South African Ambassador to Ireland Her Excellency Ms Priscilla Jana.

Later, while the children enjoy orange juice and a fruit platter, guests will be free to mingle and sample some of Northern Ireland’s hospitality which includes a delicious range of sweet and savoury delights in the Long Gallery.

No doubt, in this relaxed and informal atmosphere, valuable links and friendships will be forged that will bring much needed support to MFL’s determined efforts to rescue 12 million of Africa’s children who suffer the tragic legacy of poverty, malnutrition and abandonment due to being orphaned by AIDS.

The Choir, as ambassadors for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 charity, recently participated in the Annie Lennox stone unveiling in Edinburgh and, three days after the Stormont launch, a sister 25th anniversary event will take place in Vancouver where, at a prestigious gala dinner, the organisation will honour Sir Bob Geldof for his tireless humanitarian work in Africa.

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