Dressed in bright, vibrant coloured clothing and accessories, members of the Watoto Children’s Choir danced and sang into the hearts of the audience who came to watch their performance at the ballroom of Kinta Riverfront Hotel last Friday.
The 18 children who are orphans between the ages of six to 13 years old, were accompanied by ten adults. These children have lost one or both parents to AIDS or to the war, and now live in a Watoto village in Kampala, Uganda. Watoto means “children” in the Swahili language.
The choir presented a blend of native African rhythms, contemporary gospel music and ethnic dance, as well as putting across Watoto’s vision and mission by sharing personal stories. These children represented the many other African kids who are experiencing similar heartbreaking pain and suffering.
This Watoto Children’s Choir No. 81 has toured Asia for the past six months, with Japan the first leg. The children, who trained for six months prior to the tour, then left for Hong Kong and Singapore. In Malaysia where they have stayed for five weeks, Ipoh was one of their stops. This current Asian tour is titled “Oh What Love” to help Rescue, Raise, Rebuild.
The first Watoto Children’s Choir was established in 1994, four years after the Watoto Church and Children’s Home were founded in Uganda, East Africa. Since then, the choirs have toured internationally, even performing for royalty and world leaders at the Buckingham Palace as well as the White House.
The choir has also released several albums to raise funds for the Watoto Child Care Ministries, three baby homes, three primary schools, a high school and a vocational school. Watoto operates through sponsorship in the form of parcel or monetary gifts including programme like “Sponsor A Life” that enables Watoto to rescue abandoned children and vulnerable women.
There are currently three thousand children under the care of Watoto. Therefore, much financial support is required to care for the well being, education and other needs of the children.
What could really lessen the burden of Watoto is the sponsorship of children from well-wishers, at RM150 a month per child. For further information, check their website www.watoto.asia
Event: “Oh, What Love” Watoto Children’s Choir
Venue: Kinta Riverfront Hotel, Ipoh
Date: 24th March, 2017
*for non-Muslims only
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