Dungeness Valley: Three Indians are among 25 orphans who form the Matsiko World Orphan Choir now on a nine-month tour of the United States.
The choir is scheduled to share its inspirational message of hope on February 21 at Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, 925 N. Sequim Ave, some 240 km west of Washington.
The Matsiko choir is currently made up of the world’s poorest orphaned and at-risk children, says Don Windham, International Children’s Network founder. Six members are from Peru, three from India, nine from Liberia and seven from Nepal.
The Indians are Shivani, Nandini and Kajal.
Their ages range from 9-17, and they are sharing a message of hope on their tour across the United States.
Matsiko is the flagship vehicle of the International Children’s Network. Participants in the choir are auditioned annually and they are selected from a pool of hundreds before leaving their home nations to travel for the first time in their lives, Windham says. These chosen few become part of a one-year U.S. tour.
“They are the greatest ambassadors for our world’s orphaned and vulnerable children,” Windham says. “Before coming to the U.S., some of these children had never experienced electricity or worn shoes. But now they sing and dance and share their stories for a very worthy goal: to raise hope, awareness and educational sponsorship for the world’s 600 million orphaned and at-risk children.”
In addition to churches, civic groups, universities, and other public/private schools around the country, the Matisko World Orphan Choir has performed at noteworthy places such as Google, Disneyland, and Sea World, entertaining crowds of thousands at the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Cardinals and Rose Bowl games.
The choir has shared their talents via personal presentations with U.S. local and national politicians and graced the platforms of corporations such as Microsoft and Kraft Foods.
The International Children’s Network’s website says its mission is to provide as many of the world’s 600 million orphaned and at-risk children sponsorship for a complete education through their nation’s highest university or vocational levels.
“By doing so, every child will be on equal footing with their nation’s most privileged children. They will return to their villages to help other children who are in the same condition they once were in order to break the cycle of utter dependency and despair and replace it with empowerment and hope,” it adds.