Local and overseas charities to benefit from Ballymoney concert

WHEN ‘Let’s Sing Gospel’ and Barazina Youth Choir perform their two concerts in First Presbyterian Church on 25 and 26 January, three charities will benefit from the proceeds.

The work of CHEERS Youth Centre who have operated a youth drop-in facility and run youth projects in the town for over twenty years will benefit but two overseas charities will also receive financial assistance from the events.

The two overseas charities are a Community Care Project in South Africa and Emmanuel Ministries in India.

Rob and Debbie Ng-Y-Tin (formerly Debbie Anderson from Aghadowey), have worked with AIDS sufferers and their families in South Africa for the past ten years.

As social workers they manage a project employing 32 staff which provides support for families affected by the disease in the townships around Pietermaritzburg. Such is the AIDS problem in the area that last year Rob attended over 360 funerals, on average more than one funeral per day. The devastation caused by the disease leaves many children without parents, being cared for by grandparents or other siblings or trying to cope on their own.

Rob and Debbie assess children in local schools offering them HIV testing, support with anti-retroviral drugs, nutrition and family assistance. In a recent letter Rob noted ‘over the last five years as a consortium we have served 53,661 orphans and vulnerable children’ Rob and Debbie’s work will receive financial aid from the concert proceeds to support their work.

Emmanuel Ministries Calcutta (EMC) is a registered charity reaching out to more than 1,000 marginalised children and families in the City of Kolkata every day. They provide education, nutrition, medical assistance and scripture lessons to homeless children and the children of sex workers are helped by a community care project.

Debbie Roydas, born and brought up in Newtownards, visited Kolkata in 2005 and spent 10 days visiting their projects. She was captured by the children’s contentment with simple things, their ability to love so freely and their thankfulness to God for the opportunity to go to school, have a real bed to sleep in and food to eat.

She is privileged now to have been the house mother at Pauline Bhawan Children’s home for the last five years. Together with her husband, Bablu, and their staff they provide a safe environment, a family for 22 children from the toughest situations.

Tickets are available at RH Gault, Church Street, Ballymoney, McAuley Bookshop, Linenhall Street Ballymoney, Causeway School of Music, Railway Road, Coleraine, Faith Mission Bookshop railway Road Coleraine or from choir members.