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HEARTSTRINGS (article first published : 2007-09-24)

The KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) is set to stir the heartstrings with what they hope will be their biggest concert yet in the Upper Highway. Proceeds of the benefit concert on November 10 will go to support two local charities that assist children orphaned by HIV/Aids and those that have suffered abuse. Dubbed Heartstrings, the SPAR-sponsored concert is to be held in Hillcrest and is certain to deliver not only the musical genius for which the KZNPO is well known but also lend a helping hand to children in need.

Heartstrings will be hosted at the Hillcrest Christian Fellowship Auditorium offering an exciting mix of popular classics and chart topping hits, featuring prominent soloists. The charities earmarked to benefit from this concert are Christians in Action (CHINAC) and Ethelbert Children’s Home, both of which rely on donations to continue their work.

More than half of South Africa’s estimated 300,000 AIDS orphans are resident in KwaZulu-Natal and these children are mostly cared for by grandmothers or an elder sibling, who can be as young as 10 years old. Christians in Action (CHINAC) is a charity administered by Ross Kolbe, under the auspices of Hillcrest Christian Fellowship, which assists households affected by HIV/Aids in the Ngcolosi Valley – situated close to the Valley of a Thousand Hills. “We focus our efforts on assisting child-headed households and grandmothers caring for those orphaned by HIV/Aids in the Ngcolosi Valley. We provide regular food parcels and sewing classes, as well as assisting the children with schooling,” says Ross Kolbe.

According to Sean Ingram, principal of Ethelbert Children’s Home, abuse is rife in KZN and many children need the assistance of organisations such as Ethelbert. “Childline estimates that one in four children will be abused at some point in time during their childhood. That is a staggering statistic. Ethelbert is home to 65 children from severely neglected backgrounds, many of whom have suffered trauma and abuse. When the children are placed at Ethelbert by the courts, we aim to provide more than food and shelter, but also therapy and the opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty and abuse.” The Home is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and hope that the concert will be a wonderful grand finale to 2007.

Tickets R65 (R30 children under eight) are reasonably priced to attract entire families. They are on sale at Hillcrest KwikSPAR, Waterfall SuperSPAR and Kloof SuperSPAR, as well as at Ethelbert Children’s Home and Hillcrest Christian Fellowship. For more information contact 031 464 6555 or e-mail info@ethelbert.co.za




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