In the Swahili language the word ‘Watoto’ means children.
When Gary and Marilyn Skinner founded Watoto in 1984 as an extension from the Watoto church, their vision was to bring an opportunistic life to the orphans of Uganda.
They had aspired to achieve this by creating an environment of safety, care, protection and education for all disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
The primary focus of the Watoto Care Ministries is to care for the orphans and widows of Africa by rescuing, raising and rebuilding children to become cultivated thinkers and informed individuals who will lead Africa by example.
As a pivotal section of the Watoto Care Ministries as well as the Watoto church, the Watoto choir has toured the world annually since its establishment in 1994. During its tours the choir shares the stories of the countless vulnerable and orphaned children of Africa, children who were either orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, sever poverty or war. The choir’s Concerts are held in churches, community halls and schools all over the world.
When the children of Watoto dance and sing they inspire their audiences with the message of hope and love for Africa’s orphaned children and widowed mothers.
On Friday the 12th of august the Watoto choir (choir number 78) performed at Good Shepherd Lutheran church in Para vista (Adelaide south Australia) as a part of their annual 6-month tour.
With vibrant costumes and mesmerizing voices combined with excellent choreography, the choir created an atmosphere of joy and excitement.
The children, under the guidance of their group leaders put on a very inspiring performance that either moved many members of the audience to tears or on there feet dancing along to the authentic urban inspired gospel music.
A significant aspect that stood out prominently during the choir’s performance was the voice of the children and their stories collectively.
Each child who participated in the performance had a unique story to share: a story of struggle, triumph and hope for the future.
The feedback received from the audience reflected on this. One member of the audience said that they particularly “loved how the choir brought the community together and not just members of the church alone”.
Pastor Noel Kluge, who conducts the worship services at Good Shepherded church, was very pleased to have the choir performing at his church saying that,
“The joy in their performance is just magnetic, every aspect resembled perfection, and we are always happy to have the choir here at our church and in Australia as a whole”.
If you are interested in learning more about Watoto and the work that the organization does through out Africa or would just like to get involved in this initiative, visit the Watoto website.
To spread the Watoto message of hope for the future you can either visit the Watoto care ministries in Uganda, host the choir in your church or community, donate to the Watoto church, projects or sponsor a child through the child sponsorship program.