Philippines youth join Grammy winner Kirk Franklin for song 'Lean On Me'

Kirk Franklin (center)

Six youth from the Philippines have been chosen as part of a global choir to join Grammy-winning music artist Kirk Franklin to re-release his single, “Lean on Me" on Friday, Sept. 24. 

The youth, who are part of Compassion International’s child development program, was chosen to join peers from 24 other countries to participate in the Compassion Youth Choir.

For the past several months, Franklin has been working with youth from all 25 countries in Compassion’s child development program. Through virtual auditions and rehearsals, the Compassion Youth Choir made up of more than 120 youth, ages 11-19, worked with the artist to record the song, which was originally released in 1998.

“It was an honor working with so many young, talented and gifted kids from across the globe!” Franklin emphasized. “I’m grateful to the team at Compassion International for giving me the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”

The six youth are Yshara, 11; Hannah, 12; Tessa, 15; John, 18; Kevinker, 18; and Catherine, 18. They came from poor families and auditioned online.

“I'm very excited to be part of the Youth Choir, to show everyone my talent in singing, and to be with other singers from different places as well. My favorite experience so far in working and meeting with Sir Kirk Franklin is when I met him in Zoom. I asked him a question that he answered, and we talked to each other. He gave me advice on how to sing a song well, and he shared his life's experience to us,” says Yshara, 11, the youngest choir member from the Philippines. 

During the virtual sessions, Franklin provided vocal coaching, answered questions about his life and musical career, and even taught the group some dance moves.


The music video for the re-release of “Lean on Me,” featuring the Compassion Youth Choir, can be seen at or on YouTube.

Franklin concludes, “It’s unbelievable that a song like this still resonates with so many people. I pray this version provides a little hope for the people across the globe.” 

Fo Yo Soul/RCA Records and Franklin will donate proceeds from the sales and streams of the song to