Watoto means, “children” in the Swahili language. In any language around the world, Watoto means love because that’s what audiences feel when they experience the music.
And no doubt about it, Watoto is an experience.
Watoto Children’s Choirs have traveled extensively since 1994, sharing a message of hope for Africa’s orphans and widows. To date, the choir has toured six continents and performed to enthralled audiences in schools, retirement homes, churches, parliaments, state houses and royal palaces.
Signs And Wonders
The choir, whose members are orphans and vulnerable children, will present worship music from Watoto Church in Uganda. Founded by Gary and Marilyn Skinner, Watoto was birthed through Watoto Church in Kampala.
Through the power of their testimonies, the children share stories of how their lives have been changed and how they have been called into a life of purpose to transform their communities.
Each story declares the miracle of transformation – from darkness to light; from despair to hope; from loss to purpose; from fear to faith.
Twenty Years Ago
When Watoto started over 20 years ago, there was an overwhelming need to intervene in the orphan crisis as a result of HIV/AIDS. With the introduction of ARVs (Antiretroviral drugs), things are changing… the need has changed. Africa’s greatest challenge now is the treatment of her women.
Through Living Hope, Watoto comes alongside some of Uganda’s most vulnerable women to embrace and empower them, so that they can begin to engage their children and their community. As a result, not only do these women benefit, but their children also benefit – they are nurtured, educated and empowered to reach their full potential.
In 2016, the ministry introduced the Neighbourhood, an initiative to meet women right where they live. Their needs include housing, medical support, employment, and education for their children.
In fact, the greatest desire these women shared was that their children would receive an education, an opportunity many of them never had. So, the first phase in the Neighbourhood initiative is the education of their children.
Peer Advocates For Children
The experience of traveling on a choir helps the children to develop confidence and boldness, as well as broadening their worldview.
While on the road, the children act as advocates for the millions of other African children who have experienced the same heartbreaking pain and suffering as them.
Make sure you see Watoto when they’re in your neighbourhood.
APPLICATION: What did you love most about the Watoto Choir at North Pointe or wherever you encountered them? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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