Two Malawian orphan students to perform in Scotland, Austria

Two Malawian female students from Jacaranda Orphan School in Blantyre are expected to leave the country for Scotland and Austria where they have been invited to perform.

Founder of the school, Marie Da Silva, said Joyce Mtepa, 13-year-old and her colleague, Vanessa Litta, 12, will first perform in Scotland this Sunday, November 10, during a Mary’s Meals Day in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

At the event, expected to be attended by over 1,000 people, the two Malawian girls who are members of Jacaranda School choir, are expected to perform alongside St Stephens Primary School choir from Glasgow and will be backed by musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

According to Da Silva, the two girls are expected to perform songs like Children of Africa, One Cup of Porridgeand Lean on Me.

Joyce and Vanessa to perform in Europe

The Glasgow event will be hosted by BBC Radio Presenter, Shelagh Fogarty.

Joyce, a Form two student and her friend Vanessa who is in Standard eight were invited to sing in Europe following a visit to the school by Mary’s Meals founder and Chief Executive, Magnus MacFarlane Barrow last year and early this year.

Mary’s Meals provides daily porridge to orphans at Jacaranda with over 800 000 other orphans across Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and South America benefitting from the programme.

“Mary’s Meals provides daily porridge to over 400 orphans at the school. Upon his visits, the Jacaranda School Choir performed for Barrow. He was touched and impressed at how talented the children were at singing and playing their own instruments,” said Da Silva.

From Scotland the two girls, who are led by their school founder, will proceed to Vienna, Austria where they will also perform at a Mary’s Meals Open Day at the famous Palais Liechenstein, the home of Marie Aglaë, Princess of Liechtenstein of Austria.

“This is a very special moment for us as a school because the students continue to put us in the limelight and at the same time putting Malawi on the map,” said Da Silva adding that while on the tour the girls will also participate in a cross-cultural music project with pupils from Austria.

This is not the first time students from Jacaranda School have been sent outside the country for performances. Over the last three years, its students have also participated in Pre-Olympics concert but the most memorable was last year when 12-year-old John Samson triumphed in the Junior Commonwealth Essay competition and went on to meet the Queen in United Kingdom.

Da Silva runs Jacaranda Foundation which operates Jacaranda Orphan School at Chigumula in Blantyre.

The Foundation provides quality free primary, secondary and tertiary educations to orphans, as well as integrated orphan care.

Born and raised in Malawi, Marie Da Silva worked as a nanny in the United States for nineteen years before returning home.

In October 2008, Marie was recognized as a Top Ten CNN Hero for her dedication to orphans in Malawi.

Today, Marie shares her time between working at the school in Malawi and fundraising and speaking in schools and universities around the world.

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