Community Papers

Watoto Children's Choir returning to Prince Rupert

The Watoto Children
The Watoto Children's Choir will be returning to Prince Rupert this weekend.
— image credit: File photo

On Sunday, March 9, Watoto Children's Choir is thrilled to present "Beautiful Africa: A New Generation", a celebration of vibrant, original African music, dance routines and life-transforming stories.

The tour has been called a testimony of the new generation of leaders emerging out of Watoto. Established in 1994, The Watoto Children's Choir has travelled internationally as ambassadors for the millions of children in Africa orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war and poverty. Each of the children in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both parents. They live in Watoto Children's Villages where they receive the care, nurture and education they need to grow up as productive citizens of their country.

"It is nearly impossible to hear these children sing and share their story and not be profoundly changed," says Alex Hogendoorn, Pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church.

"A nurse from Africa shared with me, 'The children who end up in Watoto are the lucky ones'."

Today, Watoto is impacting the lives of more than 3,000 children who have been orphaned and abandoned. Watoto's purpose is to rescue the vulnerable and raise them up to be leaders, so they can rebuild their nation. For this to become an ongoing reality, Watoto relies on the support of many including Canadians to sponsor a life and impact their future.

"When we think that we are hard-done by, we need to see the hope and joy that these children have received from Jesus," says Capt. Nancy Sheils of the Salvation Army.

"It is inspiring when we see people who have gone through such difficulties living with such hope and working for change."

Watoto also seeks to transform the lives of women in Kampala and war torn Gulu, Northern Uganda through a program called Living Hope. The target groups are HIV positive single women, returnees from abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army, and teenage mothers. The goal of Living Hope is to restore dignity to vulnerable women. Fair trade items that are made by these women will be available for purchase at the concert.

The choir will perform twice on March 9 at 10 a.m. in the Civic Centre Auditorium, hosted by Fellowship Baptist Church, and again in the evening at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army. Admission is free; there will be an opportunity to make a donation to the choir or to sponsor a child. Everyone is welcome, come and enjoy the inspiring and uplifitng stories and songs.

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