African children’s choir spreads hope

children singing

The children’s choir, made up of orphaned Africans, sings their “Oh, What Love” concert.
Courtesy of Amber Sakis

Orphaned children of Africa will travel to nearby locations to sing and dance in order to raise awareness for the orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa. The Watoto Children’s Choir travel internationally, advocating for the millions of children orphaned from HIV/AIDS, war, poverty and disease.

The children will share their stories and provide a unique musical experience for all who wish to come to their many free concerts, including one in Denham Springs on Feb. 11 and Baton Rouge on Feb. 12.

“I would totally go to something like that,” said Caleb Porter, senior music major. “If you think about it, music is something that holds everyone together regardless of what we’ve been through or our languages, or even cultural upbringing. It’s a place we can all connect.” 

The choir is used as an evangelism tool, which reaches people, addresses global issues and fuels the mission of caring for orphans and widows.

The children will begin a new production called, “Oh, What Love.” The production will help envision a new Africa, which is “reborn, revived and rebuilt.” The children will express the journey from despair to celebration.

The production focuses on redemption and finding God’s love. One child expressed how he found love in God after losing his parents. Watoto founder Gary Skinner expressed how the children’s lives were not just rescued, but transformed through God’s love.

Nearly 20 songwriters contributed to creating songs that share the children’s stories. 

The tour began in January and will continue for six months as worship and redemption are spread to the many stops for the Watoto Children’s Choir. 

“It sounds like a really cool thing for them to be doing,” said Terelle Bibbins, sophomore music major. “That’s a great opportunity for them. The music must be really cool.”

The choir has previously toured Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, China and more. 

Watoto Church founded the Watoto Child Care Ministry in 1994, as a response to the number of orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda. The mission focused on rescuing a child, raising him or her as a leader and helping them rebuild their nation through their talents. 

The children live in Watoto Villages, which house children and mothers. There are currently three villages, which provide schooling, medical care, church service and more. 

Further stories and information will be told throughout the “Oh, What Love” tour.

The Denham Springs concert will take place at Christ’s Community Church and the Baton Rouge concert will take place at Church Point Ministries. 

Further details and locations can be found on watoto.com/the-choir.