Friday, December 11, 2009

African kids dazzle with Qi Gong skills

Pic by CFL

The Star News : Friday December 11, 2009

THEY came from a faraway country where famine and HIV/AIDS are rampant and the journey to the airport alone took them almost two hours of being crammed into a truck.

Despite their tender age, many of them had tasted the worst kind of suffering and a few could have died of starvation if they had not been rescued from the streets.

But when they performed to a full capacity crowd at the Petaling Jaya Civic Hall recently for the Spread The Seeds Of Love charity concert, the 30 African children from the Amitofo Care Centre (ACC) in Malawi showed the sweetest and brightest of smiles that radiated innocence, thanksgiving and unwavering inner strength.

Sing out lout: Their African heritage is not forgotten even though they are raised by a Buddhist organisation (pic by Star)

They were the young charges of Ven Hui Li, a Taiwanese monk who vowed to devote five lifetimes to develop and propagate Buddhism in Africa.

The centre set up by him now looks after 300 orphans and children of single parents; it also helps other community-based organisations that support more than 2,000 children and 1,500 adults.

The charity concert will also be organised in various other parts of Malaysia as well as Brunei and is aimed at raising funds for the building of a high school for these children.

Cultural integration: The children got the audience singing and tapping to the music when they donned Chinese costumes to sing Chinese songs.(pic by Star)

The concert was presented with the help of Persatuan Anak-anak Yatim Eduwis Selangor, NSS Centre and MBA & Sports Sdn Bhd.

“Why bring the children this far? Because we have been waiting sorely in Africa for too long for people to come to us but to no avail, so we have to come out,” Ven Hui Li said with a smile.

“We hope to awaken the love in everyone to care for the children, there are just too many orphaned children in Africa waiting for help.”

He added that imparting Chinese culture and knowledge to the children at the centre, while retaining their own African heritage, was an effort to achieve the vision of One World, One Humanity that could eventually bring world peace.

Deputy Women, Family and Com­munity Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun launched the concert.

Also present at the concert were Chief High Priest of Malaysia Ven. K Sri Dhammaratana, MBA & Sports Sdn Bhd chairman Michael Lee and NSS president Hurricane Hwang.

The children wowed the crowd with their mastery of kung fu, that included Qi Gong demonstrations where they cracked iron bars with their heads and sucked bowls to their stomachs.

They are taught kung fu at the centre to boost health, as well as to protect themselves in a society where the crime rate is high.

Their rendition of Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, African and English songs had the audience singing and tapping to the rhythm while the theme song, One World One Humanity, brought the show to a heart-warming finale.

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