Children of Uganda’s Performance Benefits AIDS Orphans
January 25, 2012 –The song and dance performance by the Children of Uganda (COU), which The New York Times has called “a celebration of dignity,” makes Georgetown one of its first stops in Washington, D.C., this Thursday.
The proceeds of the event go toward helping support hundreds of AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children under COU’s care.
Sponsored by the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown and the university’s department of performing arts, the troupe’s “Tour of Light 2012” performance on campus showcases East Africa’s vibrant culture and history.
The performance takes place at the Davis Center’s Gonda Theatre on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
The performers, who range in age from 10 to 22, have toured the United States biennially since 2002. They will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 28 and other D.C. venues through Jan. 29.
“We are honored to host Children of Uganda,” says Derek Goldman, Davis Center artistic director. “This work not only features extraordinary artistry, but also embodies our mutual commitment to global and intercultural collaborative exchange.”
Helping Vulnerable Children
The troupe also will perform at the Davis Center Thursday morning for children from Washington, D.C., schools, including those from Bright Beginnings Child Development Center for Homeless Children, the School Without Walls, Hyde-Addison Elementary School, the Francis-Stevens Education Campus and the Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts.
According to COU, there are more than 8 million orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda, and only 8 percent of them are being served by local NGOs.
COU says it helps educate and support the most vulnerable population through programs that focus on educational support, medical care, and food and water safety.
The organization also promotes global awareness of the effects of HIV/AIDS on children in developing nations around the world and advocates for international assistance.
On its website, COU profiles success stories, including that of Godfrey Mugisha.
“After the death of my dad, I sat at home for one year because my family could not pay school fees,” the website quotes Mugisha saying. “I thank Aunt Deborah and Uncle Willy [COU employees] who helped me to join the Children of Uganda. Thanks to Children of Uganda, I have all my school requirements and other needs provided. You helped me and my family in all our problems. You are really my parents.”
The website also says COU immunized 13.5 million children against measles in 2003, reached more than 4 million children to accelerate Vitamin A supplementation, catch-up immunizations and de-worming, and assisted 512,000 mothers at 91 sites in preventing mother-to-child of HIV/AIDS.
Georgetown is impressed with the work of COU and pleased that they’ll perform at the university.
“We’re dedicated to engaging issues of social justice and human rights, and employing the performing arts to make the world a better place,” Goldman says.