Uganda choir one

Adrianne Uphold/Observer-Reporter

The Amani Children’s Choir performed Monday at LeMoyne Community Center in Washington.

A children’s choir from Kampala, Uganda, visited Washington Monday morning at the LeMoyne Community Center, performing songs, dances and playing musical instruments.

The children, ranging in age from seven to 15, are members of the Amani Children’s Choir. They are on a nine-month tour around America, which started in November 2018.

This is the choir’s third tour. Each tour, different children are picked from the Kampala Community Sunday School to travel across the United States.

Trisha Blatnik, a volunteer who helps coordinate where the children perform, said the choir has been to Washington two times already at different churches. This is the first time that the children preformed at the LeMoyne Center.

“When they’re in the area we usually go back to the churches that we’ve been to before, once people meet them they fall in love and what them back,” Blatnik said. “It really humbles a lot of people after watching them perform. They have such appreciation for life, it reminds me and my family to be thankful for what we have.”

The children are traveling on the tour to raise awareness for children’s needs in Africa.

“Most of them come from broken homes that they don’t have the things that we have in America – yet they are so happy,” Blatnik said. “They’re so thankful, it’s life altering to be a part of this.”

Every year, the LeMoyne Center creates shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child. The shoeboxes are filled with notebooks, pens and other supplies that were sent to children in Africa. Lemoyne Program Director Joyce Ellis said some of the shoeboxes could have been sent to the children in the choir.

Uganda choir two

Adrianne Uphold/Observer-Reporter

Benjamin Favor of Kampala, Uganda, 11, sits with African drums the choir used in the performance.

“It’s really great to have them come here to visit our kids,” Ellis said.

According to the choir’s website, the tours have helped 300 children go to school and provided clean water to communities in Uganda. Eight classrooms were built and furnished from funds generated by the last tour.

The children will be returning to Africa in September. They will be visiting these local churches until the end of June:

  • Wednesday, June 19 at the Bentleyville Assembly of God, Bentleyville at 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 20 at the Mt. Herman Baptist Church, Amity at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22 at the Washington Alliance Church, Washington at 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 23 at the Waynesburg First UMC, Waynesburg at 10:45 a.m.
  • Thursday, June 27 at the Crosspoint Assembly of God, Carmichaels at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, June 28 at the McDonalds Presbyterian Church, McDonald at 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29 at the Crossroads Ministry, Finleyville at 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30 at the Crossroads Ministry, Finleyville at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

Staff writer

Adrianne Uphold is a senior at West Virginia University. Before joining the Observer-Reporter as the summer intern, she was the managing editor at WVU's student newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum. Adrianne also reported for WAJR Radio and Metro News.

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