Making it Count

The Bokamoso Youth Foundation was started in 1999 to empower and educate the youth of South Africa. At the time, South Africa was under racial segregation, or apartheid. Injustices and poverty were widespread, and there were few opportunities for young people to get an education or positively impact their community. Today, the members of the Bokamoso Youth Foundation are leaders in their community, are educated, and use their talents to spread positive messages and support their families by working.

Every January, the foundation sends its choir, the Bokamoso Youth Choir, to Washington, DC, to share their songs, dances, and stories, and this year SFS Middle School students were treated to a performance.

Last June, Middle School math teacher and musician Andrew Callard traveled to South Africa to sing with the choir. There he teamed up with local celebrity house musician Dr. Malinga and the choir to record a remix of his original song "Honesty" and shoot a music video for it in Winterveldt, the rural township where the youth in the choir live. Click here to see the music video.

“I had seen them perform last year during their annual visit to DC and was really impressed. I reached out to them and asked if I could sing with them, and they said, 'Sure—just come to South Africa, and we'll host you.' And so I did. The experience was amazing—to see this community come together and create such positive messages. The choir has really transformed the lives of the members and given opportunities for education and work.”

In addition to a performance for the entire Middle School, the choir visited some classes and gave dance lessons to the students. Click here for a short video of the "A Song for Mandela," performed with the Middle School.

The choir is performing at GW University February 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through their website at www.bokamosoyouth.org.

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