Photo of the Day: An Ultra-Rare Shiny, Shiny Tickety-Tocker

Audio: Kool Tickety-Tocker Klock Soundzz

Photo of the Day: An Ultra-Rare Shiny, Shiny Tickety-Tock

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The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe on Tour

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, also known as The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe, is a dance troupe comprised of Ugandan orphans who tour in order to financially support themselves and the children of two orphanages in Uganda. Most members of the group have lost one or both parents to AIDS, have had parents killed by rebels or have seen poverty or disease cause enough family hardship that parents felt compelled to turn their children over to orphanage care.

The Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe was founded by Texas banker Alexis Hefley, who first traveled to Uganda in 1993 to live and work with AIDS orphans in Kampala. Upon returning home, she founded the Uganda Children’s Charity Foundation and partnering with Sister Rose Muyinza, who also worked with Kampala-area orphans, launched the Spirit of Uganda Orphans dance touring program in 1996. The Orphans of Uganda Dance Troupe raises awareness about the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, while at the same time supporting the 700 other orphans who live in the two Children of Uganda homes.

Embodying the warmth and light of their nation, The Spirit of Uganda Orphans Dance Troupe is comprised of twenty-two children between the ages of eight and eighteen, who are serving as cultural ambassadors for Uganda’s 2.5 million orphans. Resonant with melodic tones of standing drums, dramatic choreography, bright layered rhythms and gorgeous vocals, The Spirit of Ugandan Orphans Dance Troupe recently toured the United States, bringing the transformational power of their native song and dance to America in their spirited and hope-filled performances.

Following is the documentary Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda by Douglas Menuez, as well a video of dance performance by Uganda orphans.

Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda

Uganda Orphan Dancers: Turning Tragedy into Dance

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American Stories of Hope: Yes We Can-Vote!!

American Stories of Hope: Yes We Can-Vote!!

Qasim Basir is a young filmmaker living in New York City who has been inspired by Barack Obama. In an article on The Huffington Post, Qasim wrote that, “He has inspired me, a usually self-motivated individual, to try to be a better person overall. I sometimes find myself in situations where I have a choice to do my best or just get by. And something in me refers back to something Obama may have said about making this country better. Then I realize that if I can do better in all of my endeavors and we all do the same as a collective nation, this place can actually get better.”

It has by no means been easy for Qasim to achieve his vision. It took everything that he and Lynch had to pull together enough resources to be able to finish the series of films. Along the way, they received free assistance from some usually highly paid professionals and raised most of the financial support for the film series through friends’ donations. Qasim feels that, “That’s why what we did here is so significant. We took a page out of Obama’s book and were successful at it. Almost like a prototype, test, or a living example of how his plan for this country can really work. A grass roots effort, people pulling together with a common purpose, even without all the necessary means, can make something positive and significant happen. I like to say that we accomplished this with nothing but Hope.”

Entitled The Inspiration of Barack: Yes We Can Film Series, Qasim refers to them as Seven American Stories of Hope. Each of the short films is about different people who, in the face of suffering and hardships in their lives, were inspired by Obama to confront their hardships and take an essential step forward. Each of the titles begins with Yes We Can, which is followed by College, Vote , Economy, Family, Housing, Immigration, and War.

The music video presented for you here is Qasim’s Yes We Can: Vote.

American Stories of Hope: Yes We Can-Vote!!

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