Frequently Asked Questions about Matsiko
10 months of traveling, 24 states, 13 kids from Liberia and Peru and 578 gas station & bathroom breaks. How does is all work? Many people often ponder to themselves or ask questions about the logistics of all this Matsiko madness. Well here are some fun and interesting questions and answers that you to may have once pondered!
FAQ 1: Where are the kids from, how old are they, and how many of them are there?
Answer: The children in Matsiko are from Peru (4 girls, 2 Boys) and Liberia (4 girls, 3 boys) they ranges from 8 years old to 16 years old. There are 13 total children in the 2012 Matsiko Choir.
FAQ 2: Where do the children stay while they are on their tour?
Answer: Every city we go to we find a school, church or community group who would like to host the choir anywhere from 1 day to 1 week. They then will find host families who take on average one Matsiko leader and 2 Matsiko kids. The families give the choir a place to sleep, food to eat, and many fun memories for the choir to take back home with them!
FAQ 3: What types of food do they eat?
Answer: For the most part they eat EVERYTHING and lots of it. Who eats the most you may ask, well Alonso (12 yrs Peru) once ate 8 burritos for dinner, and William (13 yrs Liberia) once ate 15 eggs for breakfast. Don’t be fooled by those cute little girls either; Jessica (12 yrs Liberia) has eaten a large pizza and even little Sarah (10 yrs Liberia) had 4 plates piled sky high of nothing but rice and chicken at a church potluck. Where does all the food go? We are still trying to figure that out :)
FAQ 4: How do you travel around the country?
Answer: They kids travel over to the United States in planes (obviously) but when they are here the choir travels in three twelve passenger vans. Each child is assigned to a van with a seat. The kids have grown to love being in the vans, it’s the only place they can sleep when they want to, be goofy with friends and not have to worry about putting on a show!
FAQ 5: Are the children schooled on the road?
Answer: Yes they are! It is just like home schooling. When the children travel over to the United States they bring with them a years’ worth of school curriculum. Whenever the choir has free time, it is spent with their noses in books. But who teaches the kids? Their brilliant leaders of course! Every leader has a student they work with and tutor throughout the year.
FAQ 6: Who are the leaders, and how do you pick them?
Answer: The leaders of Matsiko are all Volunteers who have given up a year of their lives to travel and take care of the choir. Each leader has a job they do working in the trailer, selling the merchandise or driving a van are just a few. The leaders are chosen based on personality, flexibility and the want to help children who have come from all walks of life. The leaders all are very disciplined and very committed to traveling and Matsiko. All the leaders must have thorough background checks that must be approved before traveling with the choir.
FAQ 7: Are all the children in the choir orphans?
Answer: No not all the children are orphans. Some children live with their parents but they are so poor that they cannot afford the basic needs of life. They are what we call at-risk children. The children who are orphaned live in an orphanage where they are well cared for or with a guardian or relative.
FAQ 8: How are the children chosen to be a part of Matsiko?
Answer: If a child wants to be a part of Matsiko they will join the choir in their home country. They then get chosen to be in the choir based on their discipline, independent study, performance in the choir, and all around character. It is a very hard process chosen the best fit children to be in Matsiko.
FAQ 9: What is the main purpose of the choir?
Answer: The main purpose of the Matsiko World Orphans Choir is to bring awareness to the 6 hundred million orphaned and at-risk children around the world. At each performance Matsiko sings songs of hope and shares stories of the importance of education through sponsorship. Sponsorship covers the cost of school fees and any basic needs for that specific child (food, clothing etc.)
FAQ 10: What are some things the children learn while in the United States?
Answer: While the children are here traveling they learn so many things about the American culture, have met so many people, and do so many fun and exciting things. The most important thing the children gain from being on this tour is the realization of self-worth and hope of becoming someone important in the future.
FAQ 11: How are YOU making a difference in these children’s lives?
Answer: Without people like YOU who are sponsoring the children, coordinating choir events, host housing them, making their meals, and providing clothes/hygiene products and many other things you so graciously do for the choir, none of this would even be possible. We the Matsiko Choir would like to thank you for all you have done for the choir!
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass