Raising the roof to help Yanne walk tallBy Paul Cassell
May 17, 2012
Gospel singers and musicians rejoiced as they helped raise more than £6,500 in support of Yanne’s Journey.
Hundreds of worshippers and guests packed into The Globe church in Portman Road, West Reading, as they joined in the party atmosphere at the Make A Difference Gospel Concert on Saturday.
The appeal is looking to raise £50,000 to allow nine-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer Yanne Nkurunziza to undergo specialist treatment in America to help him to walk freely for the first time.
The Christ The King pupil, from Buckingham Drive, Emmer Green, was in the audience with his mum Josephine, dad Justin and sisters Kendra and Michaela, for the concert.
Also present was His Excellency Ernest Rwamucyo, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to the United Kingdom, who handed over a donation of £2,300 from the commission for the cause.
Compere Derek Lindo, from the Parkside Seventh Day Adventist Church in Earley, read out a message of support from French Paralympian Marc-Andre Cratere, who heard about Yanne’s cause during a visit to Reading.
Performances by Reading Community Gospel Choir, a cappella quintet By-Faith and gospel jazz saxophonist Mark Bunney shook the building as people gave their support.
Esther Griffiths, musical director of Reading Community Gospel Choir, said: “It was a delight for the choir to contribute in the way it could to support this young man.
“Working with early years myself I can only imagine what he and the family have been through, but we need to think about the positive, and it has been a great way to get the community together.
“We were thrilled to help raises funds to get him his operation.”
James Manomano, from By-Faith, said: “This was something that we wanted to do and we are so happy that we were able to come along and take part.
“They are a very brave family. It is a challenge for them, but it is really good that everyone is giving their support and that is around them.
“It helps keep them going and gives them the courage and hope that things will get better.
“They are quite inspirational in how strong they are and they have such a positive spirit in whatever they are doing.”
Yanne’s Journey has now raised £31,000 with money having poured in from donations and other fundraising events, including cake sales, a sponsored walk and a music concert at The Hexagon featuring around 300 schoolchildren.
Gospel concert organiser Nana Bonnie said: “Everyone was singing and enjoying it, praising and worshiping God, and there was lots of clapping and shouting for more.
“Nobody could believe how much was raised and when I left I was so happy I was in tears.
“I really want to thank The Globe, the artistes, the High Commissioner and everyone who came to support the concert with their presence and their generosity. I cannot show my appreciation enough.”
For more details on the appeal, visit www.yannesjourney.org.