Ugandan school choir surprises travellers at Manchester Airport
• The New Life Choir from Uganda is touring the UK and Ireland on behalf of the charity Abaana, which is raising funds to support Ugandan children in escaping poverty
• The group of 20 primary school children performed for passengers while they waited for a connecting flight at Manchester Airport and were treated to breakfast and a tour
• For more information on the choir’s tour see www.abaana.org.
A group of 20 primary school children from Uganda surprised passengers in Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1 on Tuesday, 23 January, performing a medley of Ugandan and English gospel songs as they waited for a connecting flight to Belfast at the start of their UK and Ireland tour.
The New Life Choir arrived from their home country, via Qatar Airways, early on Tuesday morning and had a wait of more than 12 hours between arriving in Manchester and flying out to Belfast for the first leg of their five-month UK and Ireland tour.
To help pass the time, the airport’s Community Engagement and Chaplaincy teams arranged for the group to visit the airport’s on-site AeroZone educational facility, and the Manchester Airport Hilton Hotel kindly provided a free breakfast. The group was then taken to Terminal 1 for their flight and they thrilled passengers and staff alike with their performance.
The tour is being organised by the charity Abaana, which supports thousands of children and young people in the East African country, including through building schools and housing children who have found themselves living on the streets. Children in the choir are beneficiaries of Abaana’s work across Uganda and are raising funds for future projects in the country. They will return to the North West in May, with performances planned in Carlisle and Lancaster.
Tina Large, a member of the Community Engagement team at Manchester Airport, helped organise the welcome for the choir. She said: "When Abaana reached out to us to ask if we could help with the choir’s journey through the airport, we knew we wanted to go a little further than that.
“It was a privilege to give the children a warm welcome to the UK and turn what would have otherwise been a very long wait for their connecting flight into a memorable experience for them."
Scott Baxter, CEO of Abaana, added: “We are so excited for the choir to have touched down in the UK. We are very grateful to Tina and the chaplaincy team and their volunteers at Manchester Airport for the amazing support given to the choir as soon as they arrived.
“The children also enjoyed a fantastic first meal in the UK thanks to the Hilton Hotel. The support has made a long journey so much easier and is a great start to the tour.”
For more information on the Choir’s tour, including how you can support them or book a visit for your school or church, visit www.abaana.org.