A group of eight young boys in Antananarivo, Madagascar, are touching hearts all over the world by singing songs together.
In 2018, Virginia Summers and her husband, John Miller, who works at the U.S. Embassy, heard a teenager making music as they drove through the streets of Madagascar’s capital city, according to CBS News.
“The first song that we heard was Jimmy singing, and it was a song of giving thanks to God for his life,” Summers recalled, adding that the lyrics moved her deeply since they were in a place where most people live on less than $2 a day.
Once the couple located him, they discovered he had started an a cappella group called Zaza Kanto with his talented friends.
“They are amongst the poorest of the poor in Madagascar, and it’s just almost inconceivable that this could have been happening. Yet, there it was,” Miller said.
They decided to take videos of the group singing and post them on YouTube and social media so the whole world could hear their beautiful voices.
So far, the videos have been viewed millions of times.
The boys said the world around them is how they learned to make such beautiful music.
“I hear people singing outside, so I tried to copy,” said 12-year-old Njato.
Summers and Miller set up a website for the group so people could donate money to help provide housing and education through the National Christian Foundation (NCF).
“The money raised here with your help will be distributed through charitable organizations operating in Madagascar with the administrative expertise and cultural knowledge to ensure the funds are used to build a real future for these children,” the site read.
When Miller’s colleague at the embassy, Nicole Bayer, heard the group sing, she invited them to perform at an event she was planning for a cultural exchange program called American Music Abroad.
“For us, it’s important to build bridges of understanding between Americans and the countries where we serve,” she said.
Now, Summers goes to the boy’s hostel, called the Underground, every Sunday to hear them perform on the street.
“This is something that is so meaningful for us, to create a relationship with these boys,” she commented, adding, “It’s something that they give to us, quite frankly.”