Reprinted from the
By Cristiano Lima (@LUDACRISTIANO)
At the heart of this year’s 65th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference was a sense of hope — hope for economic sustainability, for financial equity and for equal access for human rights — but just as importantly was the sense hope for the children that embody our future.
This sentiment was at its absolute peak during the closing ceremony where the New York City-based Sing for Hope Youth Chorus lifted the crowd’s spirits with lively musical performances by a cast of local school-aged children.
The SING FOR HOPE non-profit was established by opera singers Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora as a community outreach initiative designed to make the arts accessible to all. Youth Arts Program Coordinator Stephanie Martinez says the kids pay a crucial role in the process.
They participate in various forms of outreach. They go to hospitals and sing for patients. They do performances like the one you’ll see today and also other work in the community, she said.
At the ceremony the 2,000-plus NGO representatives and other UN and DPI associates were treated to three performances, each emulating different aspects of the conferences goals and ideals.
They began with a haunting rendition of ,If you’re Out There by John Legend.
It is very much about calling people to action and getting your message out, said Martinez.
Following that came ,De Colores, a widely-known euphoric Spanish folk song talking.
It’s about the colors of spring time and how it brings joy to everything around, Martinez said, with the children’s performance passing a similar sense of jubilance to the captivated crowd.
Like the group’s first performance, their last, an interpretation of Sara Bareilles,Brave, also exemplified the commonalities between the United Nations, its member states, the NGOs in attendance and Sing for Hope in and of itself.
[It’s a song that] is also about speaking out and encouraging others to be themselves, said Martinez on the day that the conference panel adopted a new proclamation of its ideals of equality, inclusivity and community support.
As the children concluded their final song and the crowd began filing out of the assembly hall, many audience members turned around and smiled at their sight, as if to say: ,There’s always hope of a better tomorrow.
– Cristiano Lima (@LUDACRISTIANO)