Songs of Hope for Kenya

Many of you have particular interest in the status of current and former African Children’s Choir™ members in Kenya who have been subject to recent attacks and displacement in the wake of the country’s presidential elections. This update outlines their current situations from first–hand accounts.

I have recently returned from visiting our Music for Life Center at Toi Primary School on the outskirts of Kibera, where the African Children’s Choir™ began its work in Kenya and where we launched our first Music for Life Center last June. Many Choir members come from this area.

Our Kenyan staff and I were able to spend time with Toi Primary School Headmaster Mr. Francis Warui, who told us about the January 29th attack on the school. He said thirty armed youths raided the school and intended to kill him. Miraculously he escaped, but another teacher was not so fortunate and was beaten badly. The youths wrecked the school, smashing down doors, stealing the school trophies, and destroying food supplies for the entire semester. This is devastating for the children who eat only the lunch provided by the school during a day.

Since the attack, Mr. Warui reported only 1,100 students of the 1,700 registered have returned with children still going hungry. The school’s main priority was fencing a perimeter to provide boundaries and security so food deliveries may resume. Without it, the children would go hungry. With the generous help of a special friend of the Choir and his church, we were able to respond immediately to repair the fence and secure the area for the food deliveries to start again! But there is still a lot more to be done.

Although President Kibaki and Mr. Odinga have signed a peace agreement for a coalition government, things are not yet settled. Many of our former and current Choir students are safe, but peace in Kenya has not yet been secured and aspects of safety, well–being, and education continue to suffer. Several students have been forced to flee from Kibera with their families. They have since returned, but were exposed to violence and are now faced with loss of family businesses.

A Gift of Hope and Restoration

Even through its hardships, Kenya does hope to see dramatic change in the near future. International aid at this time can provide what Kenya cannot, and there are many opportunities for restoration.

Despite the intense anxieties prevalent in Kenya, we are still committed to fulfilling the African Children’s Choir’s pledge to:

Help Africa’s most vulnerable children today so that they can help Africa tomorrow.

Will you help us meet this challenge by praying and by reaching out financially to provide for the needs of the families, teachers, students, neighbors and friends in Kenya? Much work must still be done in Kenya to see a long–lasting peace restored. We know the way to start is one child at a time.

To donate, click here.

For the children

Ray Barnett
President — Music for Life Institute

Leave a Reply