DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) --The African Children's Choir hits the stage in the Triangle next week. African children between the ages of 7 and 10 make up this special choir. Many have lost one of both parents through the devastation of war, famine, and disease.
The program has helped more than 5,000 children over several decades. Their U.S. home-base is in Wake County and the children of the 47th annual African Children's Choir just arrived there this week.
They're getting ready to perform in hopes of collecting donations that may pave a path to a better life.
"To them, life has reached a dead-end," David Gitonga Khalech said. "Like when we pick them, we want to bring new hope to their lives. Like we want to show them that this is not the end of the road. There's still some light at the end of the tunnel."
Now a chaperone and teacher to the children, Gitonga Khalech is a former member of the African Children's Choir. He helps the children keep up with studies while they're on tour.
Khalech was an orphan and the African Children's Choir put him through school - now he's back to help others.
He asked 8-year-old Tendo Daniela why she liked the choir.
"Because they teach us new things," she replied.
"Because you make new friends," 8-year-old Muwanguzi Treasure answered.
Many of the children come from living situations where they can barely afford the necessities, let alone an education.
"In America, we eat different food, but in Uganda, we eat, like, the same food every day," Daniela said.
"We eat good things in the choir but at home we don't," Treasure added.
The choir has a careful selection process to find bright and promising children. The organization will put them through school and college in the hopes of not only changing their lives but inspiring them to bring about positive change wherever they go.
Daniela said it gives her hope that she may one day become a pediatrician and help her family.
"My sister is still younger - I give my parents some money and they pay for my sister's and brother's school fees," she said of her hopes for the future.
If you'd like to support these children, you can catch them in concert next week in Wake Forest and Durham.
The performance is free, but donations make their education, and the whole program, possible.
Check out the Wake Forest and Durham concert dates here.