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Talent on display at Jacaranda

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The audience on Friday was treated to a dish of performances by Jacaranda School for Orphans students in Blantyre when they welcomed Shanghai American School from China students who are expected to stay in the country for a week.

The students from Shanghai American School have been accompanied by their teachers and parents.

The school has been in partnership with Jacaranda School for Orphans for close to seven years and has been assisting Jacaranda in various areas of need including buying musical equipment and helping build a multi-million Jacaranda School for Orphans double story hall and classrooms.

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Since the partnership started, the students, teachers and parents from Shanghai American School have been visiting Jacaranda School for Orphans every year.

As usual Jacaranda School for Orphans students are always excited with the presence of the students from Shanghai American School hence giving them a tumultuous welcome by holding different activities.

Poetry, music and dances among others were the main headliners as they coloured the welcome event which was also attended by Jiang Qing Xi of the Overseas Chinese Chambers of Commerce.

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Jacaranda School for Orphans students showed how they value arts when they performed to their best including showcasing some of the country’s traditional dances.

They also performed cover songs including Adele’s song ‘Hello,’ which they gave it a local touch.

Dancing group Floor Steppers which also trains students at the school performed. Their presence at the school has seen the creation of several dance groups including MJP Dance Group, Jaca Floor Steppers and Queens Steppers.

There was also a Chinese dragon dance from the Jacaranda students.

Shanghai School Head of delegation Robert Burke said they were impressed with the performances by the students and that they are always happy to visit Jacaranda every year.

“This relationship started when in 2008 whilst working with Habitat for Humanity where we were building houses. I used to drive past Jacaranda and then this other time I saw her on TV and I was touched by the story of Jacaranda,” said Burke.

He said when he joined Shanghai American School he presented the issue and that that was the beginning of the partnership.

“Unfortunately this is my last year at Shanghai American School. I am moving to Canada but then I have also managed to talk to this school in Canada and so from next year we will make our first trip,” he said.

Burke said he will also make another last trip in June with Shanghai American School.

“The partnership between Shanghai American School with Jacaranda is still on despite me moving to Canada and so the Canada partnership is also coming in,” he said.

Jacaranda School for Orphans Executive Director Luc Deschamps and founder Marie Da Silva said they were excited with the coming of Shanghai American School.

“This school has assisted us in a lot of areas and now we are more than friends. The equipment which students are using in learning music were donated by them so to have them every year is great hence our students showcasing different activities to show what Malawi is made of,” said Da Silva.

Deschamps said the partnership has also helped in cultural exchange where students share ideas on different issues.

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