On February 14, 2006 the Children of Uganda Tour of Light will be returning to the Bay Area on their every other year tour to perform to raise money for their orphanage and awareness for the impact of AIDS on the children of Africa. We will with be handling the logistics for their week long stay, Bay Area performances and the 150 volunteers we will raise to make a meal and meet the children.
My own association with this remarkable group of kids occurred some 8 years ago when a friend asked if I could help some children visiting Palo Alto from Kampala, Uganda. That visit, like other unexpected events, profoundly changed my life, and I have been involved with the children and the some 800 others they represent ever since.
Now the Children of Uganda Tour of Light will return bringing to the Bay Area February 14 - 21, 2006, bringing with them a sense of hope and purpose, that is as inspiring as it is joyful. These children remind us that there can be resiliency amidst loss, promise out of devastation and real hope from surviving some of life's most difficult challenges.
The Children of Uganda also present a very different face to Africa and its promise and potential.
Over the past 7 years, UCCF (Uganda Children's Charity Foundation)Tour of Light has also cast its glow many who have been involved with it. As a result of participating with that first visit to the Bay Area, one of the young men on my staff, join the Peace Corps and is now serving in West Africa. One of the young Ugandan women who came to the US with the UCCF is now working under Kofi Anin's Head of Refugee Affairs, after completing her Masters Degree from Fletcher School,Tufts, full scholarship. And this year's tour itself is being supported by a generous grant from the Monua Janah Memorial Foundation. Monua, a friend and fine investigative reporter for Fortune and the SJ Mercury News, was among the first volunteers to serve the children a meal team when the first the Tour of Light came to the Bay Area.
This year the Tour of Light's big public performance will be a Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 18th at 8pm. As tickets will sell out, you should reserve tickets soon, if you wish them.
I have a friend who defines the unexpected, and sometimes unasked for, things that changes one life for the better, as "bluebirds". I think the Children from Uganda are mine. I feel so honored to have them in my life and to remind me, especially at this time of year, of what is important.