VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Missionaries with a Ugandan children’s choir are devastated after they say they were robbed in downtown Vancouver.
The Sawuti African Children’s Choir is performing across Canada raising money for children who can’t afford to go to school — including the eight performers between the ages of eight and 15. The children left their homes in Kampala this January setting off on a six-month tour.
But Saturday afternoon, thousands of dollars they raised at a recent performance were stolen.
A Ugandan children's choir has been robbed in Vancouver.
The Sawuti African Children's Choir is touring Canada to raise money for kids who can't afford to go to school. Thousands in donations and two laptops with their music and video presentations were taken. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/kiJ1kYEEXJ
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) April 14, 2019
Organizers say a briefcase with around $8,000 in donations, two laptops and an iPad with the children’s music, schedule and videos — all things the children need to perform — were taken from their van parked at Abbott Street and West Pender around 1 p.m.
Christopher Spark with Seven Wells Ministries is one of the chaperones, and says he doesn’t know what they’re going to do.
“I’m sick to the stomach right now. I’m feeling pretty awful right now,” he says.
Up until now, Spark says his and the children’s experiences of Canada was positive.
“Such a wonderful, wonderful welcome in Canada where we’ve been so far,” he says. “And then we come to Vancouver…and it feels like a violation.”
A second volunteer was apparently assaulted when he tried to stop a man he spotted with what looked to be one of bags.
Due to unforeseen circumstances and a horrible accident on the road the choir had to make a change of plans and go across the ferry with lots of other travellers so they entertained the waiting passengers.
Spark, a teacher, lost some valuables of his own in the robbery: a laptop with his life’s work, his passport and some other personal financial and legal documents were taken.
They’re hoping the police can recover some of what was lost.
The group still has two more shows to do in the Vancouver area over the weekend.