Last week we were honoured to get a visit from the Destiny Africa children.
The children are touring Europe to raise funds for their children’s centre in Kampala where they all live. They are amazing, spirited and inspirational singers and dancers, aged between 8 and 18. Most are orphans or former child soldiers who were dragged into the conflict in Uganda.
First News helped them to come to the UK in 2008. Their visas had been refused on the basis that their parents hadn’t signed the forms. (They were dead!) So we asked the foreign secretary to intervene to order the issue of the visas. He did and days later the children were in London performing at 10 Downing Street for the Prime Minister! One girl called Irene, aged 13, wanted to tell her story at Downing Street but was too upset to speak so her friend, Nicole, spoke for her. She told how rebels had come to Irene’s village and shot dead her parents in front of her and her younger brother, David. Irene stared ahead as Nicole told the story. The PM’s wife Sarah Brown began to cry. It was very moving for all present.
Irene was here today, along with David, and the rest of the Destiny Africa choir. (They have a day off from their tour and are taking a bus tour round London.) and was presented with a cake for her 18th birthday.
The children sang and danced and my video doesn’t do it justice at all – especially with my colleagues wandering in front of it – but you do at least get the general idea of their energy and inspiration:-
Here’s a link to their Downing Street performance in 2008.