Watoto Children's Choir in Johor Baru

Toby, now a teenager, was abandoned by the road when he was a child. Along with Charity and her mother, a vulnerable woman and child rescued from slums, and Olivia, conductor of the Watoto Children’s Choir who now holds a degree in Journalism, they have been empowered by the Watoto Child Care Ministries.

The Watoto Children's Choir presented an energetic and
inspiring musical show, 'Signs & Wonders' in Johor Baru
as part of their Asian Tour
The Watoto Children’s Choir, whose members are orphans and vulnerable children, was in Johor Baru recently to present ‘Signs & Wonders’, an energetic musical show that celebrates and demonstrates the miraculous transformation in their lives, from a dark past to a purposeful life.

During a break in the musical, these choir members shared their personal testimonies on how their lives have been changed under the sponsorship programme while they lived in the security of Watoto villages.

Each of their stories declared the miracle of transformation – from darkness to light, from despair to hope, from loss to purpose and from fear to faith.

Sharing their personal testimonies,
[L to R] Charity, Olivia and Toby
This travelling choir is part of the Watoto Child Care Ministries that started in 1994 with one simple house in the city of Kampala, Uganda. Here, eight orphans and a widow were given the opportunity to live together as a new family.

In war-torn East Africa, Watoto villages have grown to become a phenomenal beacon of hope and an example of true transformation for former child soldiers, orphans and those born to rebel leaders during the civil war.

With the support of sponsors worldwide, Watoto is providing holistic, residential care for over 4,000 orphaned and needy children and restoring dignity to vulnerable women, most of whom are HIV positive.

Under the Living Hope programme, these women have an improved quality of life through medical intervention for HIV/AIDS care, empowerment and income-generating projects like creating handicrafts for sale.

The children brought along T-shirts, tote bags, costume
jewellery and handicrafts made by women in the
Living Hope programme, for sale here.
Rescued children, aged between two and 12 live in Watoto villages in a family set-up with seven other siblings, cared for by a house-mother. Each village has a community centre and health clinic and the children attend school to receive quality education.

Some of these children who have been rescued and nurtured in Watoto since 1994, have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, computer scientists, journalists, doctors and farmers, and are positively impacting their community now.

From their cheerful faces and enthusiastic performance, it was evident how the lives of members in Choir #88 have been transformed under Watoto’s healing care.

“This musical production, ‘Signs & Wonders’ is going to challenge preconceived ideas about miracles as it demonstrates that each of our daily lives are wonders of God’s work in us,” said Creative Director of Watoto Choirs, James Skinner.

Choir #88 follows 87 other choirs that have toured the world to share the vision and mission of Watoto through music and dance in an energetic fusion of contemporary gospel and traditional African rhythms.

Each choir is made up of 18 children, aged between seven to 12 years and are accompanied by 10 adult caregivers.

Each child in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both parents and now lives in a Watoto village. While on tour, the children act as advocates for the millions of other African children who have experienced the same heartbreaking pain and suffering as them.

Local sponsors treated the visitors from Uganda, East Africa
to outdoor fun at Legoland Water Park in Iskandar Puteri.
In October 2017, Choir #88 started performing in HongKong on their Asian tour that included Japan and Singapore and during March and April 2018 in Malaysia, they performed in Johor Baru, Sibu, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

The choir provides a unique training for both adults and children to develop future leaders that will impact Uganda and beyond as the experience of travelling with the choir helps the children to develop confidence and will broaden their worldview.

Watoto Children’s Choirs have travelled extensively since 1994 to share a message of hope for Africa’s orphans and widows. To date, the choir has toured six continents and enthralled audiences with their performances in schools, retirement homes, churches, parliaments, state houses and royal palaces.

In Johor Baru, the choir performed at several venues during the Easter season and ended their stay with an exciting excursion to Legoland Water Park at Iskandar Puteri.

Watoto’s tagline is: Rescue, Raise, Rebuild. To sponsor or partner with Watoto in this effort, email to: asia@watoto.com

For more information, visit website: www.watoto.asia

A version of this was published in the May 2018 issue of The Iskandarian.

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