Ryan Kelly and Michael O’Dwyer from the popular Irish singing group, Celtic Thunder, are turning their spotlight onto kids in Africa.

Ryan Kelly from Celtic Thunder singing with kids in Africa

As part of their upcoming North American tour, Celtic Thunder will ask their Canadian fans to open their hearts by becoming a healinghugs supporter.

Their Canadian concerts will give audience members the opportunity to provide medical care to a child living in poverty with disability… and a teddy bear to hug.

The duo travelled with cbm to Uganda to see firsthand how financial support from people like you transforms the lives of boys and girls.

Ryan and Michael were fully inspired!

Ryan said, “These kids are getting a chance that they wouldn’t have had because of their situations… and where they live. We’re very lucky that we can use our position as musicians to promote this cause.”

Michael added, “The reality being… if you’re a child here in Africa and your disability stops you from being able to fetch water or work… then you become an outcast. Of no use to the family. Something as simple as an operation can put that child back on the straight line to be something amazing.”

Michael said, “The inner strength you see in these kids is just incredible. They’ve been dealt a tough hand, but they just want to make the best of everything they have.”

Ryan and Michael went to visit healinghugs kids Raymond and George in their homes.

Raymond before and after surgery

Raymond: Before & After

George before and after surgery

George: Before & After

Ryan Kelly and Michael O'Dwyer from Celtic Thunder singing to kids

And they followed them right through to their casting, surgery and early recovery.

When asked about their most memorable moment on the entire healinghugs trip, Ryan answered, “Raymond and George. Seeing their disabilities and that they’re in a really dire situation. To see how they’ve become outcasts. And then taking them to the hospital. Thinking about how things are going to change for them. That’s been the highlight. To see this work in progress… to see what can be achieved here.”

“It [a healinghug] doesn’t just impact the child, it impacts the whole family,” said Michael. Ryan added, “It transforms lives and there’s no way of overstating that… it really is transforming these people. And that’s clear.”

Ryan said, “The fact that a dollar a day can change the lives of children the way we’ve seen it… it has blown me away. These are only some cases of thousands and thousands of children who are getting help this way. We’re inspired!”

Ryan and Michael were witnessing something even bigger than they had imagined.

... everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Ephesians 5:13 (NIV)