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CBN News | Ugandan Orphans Sing Their Way to New Life

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Posted March 18, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 2,243 views

     

NORFOLK, Va. — The Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda has a mission to help the estimated 50 million orphans across Africa. Members of the choir believe that singing is just part of their purpose. CBN News caught up with the choir in Norfolk, Virginia, during their U.S. tour. They sang songs of praise and danced while sharing personal stories of their lives back home.

Poverty, HIV/Aids, and the horror of serving as child soldiers have taken a toll on the lives of these children. The choir got its start in 1994. Since then it has traveled all over the world to raise awareness about the plight of Africa’s orphans. Each child in the choir has lost one or both parents or has been abandoned.

“All the children have suffered the pain of loss, the pain of being rejected and being abandoned, or the pain of losing the only people that meant everything, mom and dad,” team leader Edwin Smith said.

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Smith said the choir’s impact on its members is life changing, which is something he can relate to because he too grew up singing with the choir.

“It was when I was in the choir that I realized that I can become anybody in the world,” he explained.

“I’m actually living the dream that I had back then when I was in the choir, so it’s a very mind-opening platform for the children,” he added.

Watoto means “child” in Swahili and it takes a holistic approach to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children.

Children who are rescued are raised within the safety of a Watoto village, complete with homes, a new family, and free education. But most important of all, they learn about the love of Jesus Christ.

Nine-year-old Allan Nyakaana shared what life was like before Watoto took him in.

“It was bad,” he said. “I didn’t have anywhere to sleep.”

Watoto teaches the children that God has a good plan for their lives and they want to share that truth with others around the globe and especially back in their homeland. Twelve-year-old Shakira Sanyu said she loves being part of the choir and the positive effect it has on people’s lives. She said she wants to take what she has learned to her people in Uganda.

“I want to live in Uganda so that I can also change the country and help it become a good country,” she said.

Smith said the songs of Watoto highlight the hope of a future filled with joy and new purpose.

“When you see these children, they are no longer sad,” he said.

“They come from a sad past, but they are not sad anymore because when God is in it, it’s not over,” he continued.

Source — CBN News.

 


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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