KwaYa Australia Inc believes a unique three way cultural exchange through music, its lyrics and rhythms not only strengthens community by opening the hearts and minds of the participants but increases the sensitivity of cultural differences.
Participants strive for positive change and are motivated to encourage more people to join in a common practice of strengthening the culture of peace and tolerance, mutual help, respect, patience and support for the revival of cultural skills.
Key points of the project
• Participation in arts and culture by one hundred people from across Australia addresses social inclusion by including young people, the elderly, culturally an d linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal peoples.
• A group of one hundred people travelling and coming together championing and supporting a common cause establishes life- long friendships and bonds.
• Our youngest participant is fifteen and our oldest is seventy three. Our project allows opportunities for inter-generational exchange promoting social cohesion, a deeper understanding and at times long term connections between individuals.
• From Adelaide to Cairns to Tasmania, Australian community choirs are coming together to fundraise $40,000 to finance the recruitment and training of the next African Children’s Choir in Uganda. They are raising funds through social events such as Trivia Nights, Community Concerts, Sausage Sizzles, Raffles and Bake-offs.
• Up skilling and cultural exchange by encouraging participants to demonstrate and share their skills and talents. Workshops in dance, craft and song are created, devised and led by chosen Australian participants to conduct on the ground in Uganda and Australia.
• “Stitch Me Warm” is a Kwaya initiative. Over fifty knitters from across Australia have formed a group to knit garments for the orphans in Uganda. A Facebook page was created where they share patterns, knitting tips and progress of garments.
• The project sponsors two Aboriginal artists providing a unique opportunity to share their culture with the one hundred Australian travellers as well as the Ugandan community.
In Uganda, The African Children’s Choir is providing a two week schedul ed program where Kwaya travellers will engage and interact with the children at a grass roots level. Visits to the children’s homes in the slums, dance and drumming workshops, learning a Lugandan song and performing to the poorest of villages as well as royalty are all part of a culturally rich program.
Travellers are also invited to experience and co-facilitate a “Music for Life Camp” where children from the slums are invited for a one week session of music, dance, games, crafts, education and work projects. Team leaders (usually alumni of ACC) create fun and stimulating environments providing a break from the daily hardships the young children face at home.
The programs are designed to identify and develop choral skills and children who excel are often selected to become members of the African Children's Choir and will be choir members for life. Those who are not selected for the African Children's Choir entertain their local schools and communities with the music that they learn through this program.
With a proven record of more than 22 years, our hosts The African Children’s Choir is a shining example of what choirs can do for children raised in a disadvantaged indigenous community.