Eight-year-old Samuel Kurytnik has always had a passion for Africa. He dreamed of traveling there one day to see the wildlife. But after a World Hunger Campaign was held at his church, Christ Community Christian Reformed Church in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Samuel turned his attention to the people of Africa.
Learning about the lack of clean drinking water in many African villages, Samuel announced that he wanted to hold a concert to raise money “so a whole village in Africa can have clean water.”
With assistance from many friends and supporters, the boy’s plans came together in a recent concert held at the church, aptly titled “Samuel and Friends.” The event included a performance by Samuel and his teachers at Cross Canada Fiddle, as well as vocal and instrumental performances by many other children of the church. About 150 people attended the event.
During the concert, an offering was taken for World Renew’s community water project in Sarako. Sarako is a small village in Sierra Leone, where a gravity-fed water system will change the lives of 465 villagers at a cost of $6,500. Additional online donations pushed the concert’s fund-raising total above what was needed.
“World Renew and the Sarako community members in Sierra Leone are extremely grateful to Samuel Kurytnik and his friends for sharing their God-given musical gifts to change lives,” said Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, director of World Renew Canada. “Samuel and his friends may be young . . . but they have faith in God, a circle of supporters, and a love for people in Sierra Leone that propels them.”
Samuel was pleased with the results as well. “The concert was a lot of fun, and all the kids sang and played their instruments really well!” he said. “I liked the end part the best because all the money was added and I got to write the total on a big paper for everyone to see. People were really excited. I think the children in Sarako will be very happy too!"