Members of a Ugandan children’s choir are facing a major setback after a weekend theft in Vancouver.
The Sawuti Children’s Choir performed at the Woodward’s Atrium on Saturday and left their vehicle parked in a lot at West Pender and Abbott Streets.
After a quick lunch at Costco, the group returned to find thieves had smashed in a window of their yellow Ford F-150.
“I was absolutely horrified. I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes,” said group chaperone Chris Spark.
Among the stolen items were two laptops containing choir music, a gold-coloured iPad and a black briefcase containing roughly $7,500 dollars in donations from a concert Friday evening.
“That was a real kick in the teeth to have that stolen,” said Spark. “The offering from that previous night would have supported 14 children for one year.”
The choir is on a six-month tour of Canada, where they are raising money for school books, uniforms and fees.
“We don’t come from Canada, I wouldn’t know which neighbourhood is safe or not, so we just leave our stuff in the car. We didn’t know that something like this could happen,” said choir member Joy Wamala.
The children say the theft has left them feeling unsettled but hasn’t tainted their impression of Canadians.
“People are so loving and kind, they have shown us much love. We feel at home,” said member Emmanuella Treble.
Vancouver police are investigating, but no arrests have yet been made.
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