In the summer of 2006, producer David Lipps and singers/songwriters Sydney Schaef and Melissa Reyes (along with friends Sarah Lowe and Erin Eckhardt) traveled to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to record an album of the Hananasif’s Children’s Choir. The aim of the project was to help the HOCET kids work hard to create something personal, fun, meaningful, and marketable to sell for their benefit.
The project was recorded on site at the orphanage center amidst many unforeseen challenges – from power cuts to crowing roosters to honking cars (and everything in between). Upon his return to the US, David spent the following months (when he could steal some time away from studying for law school) mixing and mastering the CD, and designing the artwork. We are thrilled to announce that the CD is available for purchase. All proceeds go directly to the children of Hananasif.
The Hananasif choir is a warm and youthful blend of the voices of eleven of the orphanage center’s children. All songs are original to the orphanage center: lyrics and music were composed by HOCET staff. The choir is accompanied by the instruments of local musicians, and thus in its entirety, the CD project is a colorful and authentic representation of the local sounds and the moving stories of the children.
Youth choir has now produced five albums, and has shown tremendous improvement in their singing. Since its beginning, the youth choir has also been doing outreach programs in different parts of the country, aimed at helping their fellow disadvantaged children both emotionally and financially.
Recently, the choir has launched a program known as “The Real Testimony” with the objective of telling the community that they are no longer orphans; they have God as their father and father of everybody.
“Here, we do not call the children ‘orphans.’ We do not reinforce that they have either lost their parents or have been abandoned. We teach them that God is their father; that God is taking care of them. They have now a place to sleep at night, food when there wasn’t food for them before; they are learning and going to school and getting their education. They have each other. You see? They can have hope. They do have a father and he is taking care.”
- Hezekia Mwalugaja