Psychologist Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba came up with his joyful remedy for loneliness in UK care homes while visiting a member of his congregation who missed the choir while in social care. Since 2016, the Ephrata Community Church choir has been working with four care homes in Bolton, England, performing English and French hymns, hypnotic chants, and traditional African songs in Lingala (a Congolese language). Dr. Ngamaba, the church pastor, works with the National Health Service as a psychologist. “We found that the singing started conversations,” says choir leader Perseverant Mupolo. “They may not remember the whole song, but they remember learning it in Sunday school as children and practicing at home with mum and dad.” While COVID paused Ephrata’s outreach, Beechville care home, a specialist in dementia care, recently welcomed the choir back. “The residents love it,” says activity coordinator Diana Bellusci. “It’s uplifting. It puts everybody in a good mood, not just the residents but the staff as well.”

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