By LOUISE THOMASON
Following the success of their visit two years ago, the God’s Golden Acre Young Zulu Warriors and Gospel Choir are returning to Shetland this summer.
As part of a thank you to the Shetland people’s continued generosity in supporting South African charity From Shetland With Love, the group have planned three concerts in the summer.
As well as visiting Shetland, the group’s tour takes in 25 dates in all and covers the length and breadth of the UK.
Founded in 2004, the God’s Golden Acre orphanage has been helped by the work of Ian and Mona McAlpine, of the charity From Shetland With Love, since 2005.
Based in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, God’s Golden Acre is involved in the care of children who have been orphaned or abandoned because of HIV/AIDS related illness and violence.
While there are currently 73 children living at the orphanage, the charity also helps as many as 5,000 youngsters in its work in outlying rural areas.
The McAlpines, who previously lived in South Africa for many years, decided to do something to help the plight of the country’s HIV/AIDS affected youth after Ian heard about Heather Reynolds, the charity’s founder, on a radio interview.
To date and with the help of various fundraising efforts throughout Shetland, From Shetland With Love has raised a staggering £60,000. Every penny of this goes directly to helping the children.
Over the years there has been a wide range of fundraising activities, from selling home bakes at farmers’ markets to concerts and sponsored walks and abseils.
Their commitment to the cause is obvious: the McAlpines are even using their Ruby wedding celebrations next weekend as an opportunity to raise funds. The Cullivoe Dance band will be playing at the Whiteness Hall and friends and family “and as many as we can legally pack in” are invited to come along and get involved.
Mr McAlpine said: “We try to be creative. There are lots of very worthy other charitable things going on such as CLAN … and we’re very fortunate and blessed that we’ve been able to keep going.”
The Young Zulu Warriors and Gospel Choir will be performing in St Columba’s Church on the 17th June and at Clickimin on the 18th and 19th June. An advert with ticket details will be placed in The Shetland Times nearer the time.
Mr McAlpine said: “We’re looking forward to hearing them in the Big Kirk. Last time they were here the response was tremendous … I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. They create an emotive impact. We hope the community will support us again and we’d like to say a big thank you to the Shetland folk for supporting us, and parting with their cash.”