Young Ambassadors arrived in Durban last week, where they had two concerts. They have also visited Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, South Africa where another four performances were given. In addition, they held VIP receptions and held devotionals for the local LDS Church members in each city. Following are a few key events:
- In Durban, Young Ambassadors visited the University of KawZulu-Natal where they participated in an exchange with the KwaZulu-Natal Jazz program. Young Ambassadors performers were able to attend a dance class and learn dances from the cultures of Africa.
- Young Ambassadors had a VIP reception with community leaders, government leaders from Lesotho, and non-government organizations.
- They were also invited for two radio interviews, one for UKHOZI FM, with over 8-million listeners and MOTHEO FM, with over 175,000 listeners.
- In Bloemfontein, Young Ambassadors members visited Lebone Village Orphanage, where they sang, played, and read books that the performers had brought from the USA to donate.
- The group also sang and spent time with the elderly at the Frail Care Home, where they had the opportunity to meet more people of South Africa.
- Another VIP reception was held in Bloemfontein with nearly 40 religious and community leaders in attendance.
- In Johannesburg, Young Ambassadors did a special performance for the South Eastern Area Presidency of the LDS Church and their staff. They also did a workshop with Protea School students, who are challenged with learning disabilities. Young Ambassadors purchased musical instruments for the students and taught them how to play.
- With the local YSA group of Johannesburg, Young Ambassadors delivered clothing and toys to the Children of Fire organization, a place where children who have severe burns can heal physically and mentally. The group sang, danced, and played with the children.
- They also spent time with the patients of the Avalon Association.
SOUTH AFRICA & ZIMBABWE
The second week on tour for the Young Ambassadors was filled with many adventures and “life-changing” moments.
One “life-changing” moment for the Young Ambassadors occurred in a village outside Harare, Zimbabwe. They sang and handed out much needed school supplies, toys, and sweets to an elementary school of 500 students with difficult circumstances. Most of the children were parentless because of AIDS and either lived with relatives or were orphans. All of the teachers were volunteers who had teaching licenses but were currently unemployed because of the current economy in Zimbabwe. Classes of nearly 60 students each were held in small tin shacks.
Here are just a few of the many other adventures that occurred this week:
- Visited the Avril Elizabeth Children’s Home for children with severe handicaps where the Young Ambassadors and local YSA members sang with the patients and then handed out socks that the local stake had donated for the project.
- Toured the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria and learned that at nearly the same time as the Mormon pioneers, the South African pioneers (known as Voortrekkers) left their homes and moved across their country for religious freedom.
- Experienced the Mukuviai Woodland Animal Park on a walking Safari.
- Visited the Kudu Wushi Care Center for children with disabilities, where the Young Ambassadors were greeted by traditional singing and dancing. The Young Ambassadors were then able to sing and dance with the children.
- Visited Victoria Falls – one of the seven natural wonders of the world.