Zimbabwean orphans get helping hand with new album

Zimbabwean gospel outfit Celebration Choir have released a music video for the title track of their album Take Me Home, part of an ambitious fundraising project to relocate 60 Zimbabwean orphans, known as Project Relocation.

The musicians and kids involved in Project Relocation. Photo: celebrate.org
The musicians and kids involved in Project Relocation. Photo: celebrate.org

First established in the 1980s by the Deuschle family, Celebration Church’s social outreach arm, Compassion Ministries, has attempted to help the homeless, refugees and orphans living on the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city. When Compassion Ministries first began working with orphans, the “orphanage model” was the accepted national prototype and was deemed the most cost-effective way to address the problem, which was now at epidemic proportions. According to the church’s website, “We built dormitory-styled homes in a rural, farm setting, with education facilities on the farm and a high school within walking distance - by African standards. With the care of the church and a generous farmer who donated the land, we have seen a whole crew of children grow up and enter into meaningful lives in the mainstream of society.”

As world agencies began to do research and studies, different and better models of orphan care were introduced, with new laws in Zimbabwe and elsewhere calling for all children's homes and orphanages to shift to ‘cluster homes’. In light of this, the church’s Project Relocation aims to do two things. Firstly, to relocate all the children in their care from the two locations in the country, where they are currently in dormitory-styled care centres, to cluster home-styled housing units in the city, near the church and the school. Secondly, it aims to raise funding to build the new cluster homes that will facilitate house parents and 5 children (at most 6) per home.

To achieve this, the church aims to raise US$1.25 million to build five double-storey cluster homes on land that has been donated for the orphans, within walking distance of the Celebration Church and Celebration International School.

In February 2014, Pastor Tom Deuschle led a team of climbers up Mount Kilimanjaro to kickstart Project Relocation. A full-length documentary about the six-day climb was to raise awareness and support for the project. In August 2015 the church’s Celebration Choir releasing a single titled ‘One True Lord’ for continue raising fund for the orphans’ relocation.

Now, Take Me Home is the sound of a resonating hope in four tracks.  Led by music minister and veteran gospel composer and singer Pastor Bonnie Deuschle, Celebration Choir is joined by gospel acts Celebrate Young, Jonathan Deuschle and Temalambi to create the tracks for the new album. This collaboration album combines Zimbabwean, Mozambican and international gospel influences. Each song rings with a catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics and catchy instrumentation. Other tracks on the album include ‘Pleasant Places (aka The Whistle Song)’, ‘Awakening’ and ‘Send Me’. All the proceeds from this benefit album go towards Project Relocation to help improve the lives of orphans in Zimbabwe.

Watch the video for the title track below or buy the 4-track EP from iTunes here.



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