When Shellharbour’s Yvonne Curtis began sponsoring an African child last year, she never imagined she would meet the smiling girl who wrote her letters and sent photos from an orphanage in Uganda.
But today Ms Curtis will come face to face with 12-year-old Miriam Aguti, who she sponsors through Ugandan charity Watoto childcare ministries.
Ms Curtis signed up to sponsor Miriam last August when she was moved by a performance from the Watoto Children’s Choir and the pair have since exchanged letters and the occasional photos.
This year Miriam became a member of the choir and has spent the past few months travelling Australia with 21 other children, who will perform at churches in the Illawarra this weekend.
Ms Curtis said it had been a privilege to sponsor Miriam and hoped to give her some gifts and photographs to take back to Uganda.
‘‘In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined the possibility of meeting dear little Miriam,’’ Ms Curtis said. ‘‘I’ve been counting down the days [and] I wonder if Miriam is as excited as I am.’’
The Watoto Children’s Choir was established in 1994 as a way to share the stories of African children affected by HIV/AIDS, war or famine.
The children, aged between seven and 14, perform original African music and modern gospel routines.
The children will perform at Figtree Anglican Church at 4pm today and at Albion Park Uniting Church at 10am tomorrow.