African children’s choir worships in Port St. Joe


The Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa spreads worship through song and dance.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

The Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa performed at the Oak Grove Church in Port St. Joe last week, and shared their brand of worship with the congregation through song and dance.

The group is made up of 12 girls and 12 boys ages 10-13 from Kaihura, Uganda. Their show is a 60-minute spectacle of Ugandan and traditional English songs and videos of their lives in Africa.

The Daraja choir is sponsored by The 410 Bridge mission group, which provides community-initiated development in Kenya, Uganda and Haiti. It serves in 26 communities and impacts over 300,000 people with clean water, education and economic development.

The group’s three-month southeastern tour is being led by 410 members Rob and Elisa Allred of Atlanta. The couple was on tour with another children’s choir when they experienced another group of Daraja students performing at a church in 2011 and knew they wanted to be a part of it.

“We loved 410’s model and the way that they invest in communities,” said Elisa. “They work alongside the community instead of doing it for them.”

In each town they visit, the Allreds find host families for the 24 children and 14 adults that make up the tour group. (See Letter to the Editor Page A5) The Ugandan children spend time with their host families doing activities, eating and immersing each other in their foreign cultures.

“It’s an incredible culture exchange on both sides,” said Rob. “Some of the kids who were quiet at the start are now the most outgoing.”

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