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Children of Uganda to perform on campus during their 'Tour of Light'

By Jenn Smola
On February 6, 2012

Sixteen Ugandan children will be arriving at Miami University this week as part of their Tour of Light. The Tour of Light showcases Ugandan dancing and musical culture to raise money for the non-profit organization Children of Uganda.

First-year adviser Sarah Meaney played a large role in making the program possible at Miami. Traveling to Uganda in 2010, she met many of the children involved with the Tour of Light. One of Meaney's friends from her trip now works for the Children of Uganda, and Meaney was able to arrange a tour stop at Miami, in between shows in New York and Chicago.

"It's a wonderful cultural activity," Meaney said of the Tour of Light.

The Children of Uganda organization supports impoverished Ugandan children, many of orphans after losing their parents to aids, Meaney said. She added that students and community members will benefit from the performance.

"They can take away a piece of Africa," she said. "Life is bigger than Oxford. There's more out there than just what we see here."

Meaney said she received a lot of help planning the event from senior Corrylee Drozda. Programming Director of the Diversity Affairs Council, Drozda said the timing and circumstances couldn't have been better for planning the Children of Uganda'a show at Miami.

"They've never performed at a university before, so it'll be a first for them too," Drozda said.

The Ugandan children will be visiting Kramer Elementary School in Oxford during their visit, and will also receive lunch courtesy of Chipotle, which is one of the children's favorites, Drozda said.

Later, they will attend a potluck dinner at Alexander Dining Hall with various members of student organizations. Before the students leave Friday morning, they will have breakfast with President Hodge, she said.

"It's a really awesome cultural exchange," Drozda said of the entire program.

The Tour of Light performance will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Gates-Abegglen Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the Miami University Box Office and are $7 for students and youth and $10 for general admission.

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