Ugandan children’s choir visits Bonaire Middle

alopez@macon.comApril 28, 2014 

BONAIRE -- When Julie McCoy saw the Ugandan Thunder perform at a church, she invited the choir to visit her students at Bonaire Middle School.

“The music touches your heart,” said McCoy, the school’s chorus director.

The Ugandan Thunder is made up of 22 children from the Royal School and Orphanage in Mityana, Uganda. Each year, a new choir is selected to tour the U.S., and its members perform and raise money for children back home, said Meredith Maddox of Pennies for Posho, the nonprofit faith-based organization that sponsors the tour.

“Pennies for Posho is feeding 5,000 children in 15 orphanages throughout Uganda,” Maddox said.

Members of the Ugandan Thunder, who range in age from 8 to 16, sang, drummed and danced for Bonaire Middle students in the school’s gymnasium Monday afternoon.

“I wanted the students to have the opportunity to have a firsthand experience with other children in the world who don’t have as much as we do,” McCoy said.

Thirty-eight percent of Uganda’s population from 2007-2011 lived on less than $1.25 per day, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Some of the members of the Ugandan Thunder lost one or both of their parents, and some of them were abandoned, Maddox said. “Uganda is a poor country, but we enjoy it because we have a trust in God,” said Denis Katongole, 11.

Since arriving in the U.S. in January, the choir has visited churches, schools and prisons, said Irene Kimala, 12.

“On the road we have fun,” she said. “We want people to grow spiritually in Christ and believe that God is the savior.”

The Bonaire Middle students cheered loudly for the East African children. One girl followed them as they walked through the school halls to their van, asking them to pose for photos.

“You guys were amazing,” she said.

For more information, including a performance calendar, visit

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 256-9751.

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