Watoto singers perform in Beautiful Africa: A New Generation. Watoto aims to care for 10

Watoto children’s choir singing into Houston

On Thursday the Watoto children's choir will sing a concert of Swahili, Luganda and English songs at Houston Fellowship Baptist Church.

When was the last time you heard someone sing a Swahili song in Houston?

On March 15, the Watoto children’s choir will sing Swahili, Luganda and English songs at the Houston Fellowship Baptist Church in a concert called “Beautiful Africa: A New Generation.”

“We know that for a long time, Africa has been known as a place of suffering and pain,” said choir director Sam Kimera.

“But Africa is still beautiful, especially when you look at the generation we are raising. If you fix the roots, then the fruit is much better.”

Started by a Canadian couple in the late 1980s, Watoto is a Christian charity that cares for Ugandan children who have lost one or both their parents to war or to diseases such as HIV/Aids.

“We started with six children in 1992,” Kimera said. “But now, over time, with the help of partnerships and friendships around the world we’ve been able to care for a little over 2,400 children.”

It’s a great accomplishment, he said, but there are many more Ugandan children who need help. In Gulu, northern Uganda, an estimated 30,000 children have been abducted in the last 20 years and forced to join a civil war as child soldiers or victims of sexual abuse in the Lord Resistance Army.

Each home in the three Watoto villages houses eight children and one mother, he said, and the mother is often a widow herself.

“We keep them in school, we dress them, we feed them, we clothe them,” Kimera said. “We basically become their family, so they get a sense of identity and restoration.”

Watoto built its own schools, which go up to high school level. Graduates can also move up to a skilled-trades college where can take welding, sewing or carpentry.

The choir coming to Houston has 22 children and 10 adults. It is one of 53 Watoto choirs that has toured the world since 1994.

“Everywhere we go, we share the love of Jesus because that what has caused the transformation and change in the children’s lives,” said Kimera.

The Watoto choirs also raise awareness about life in Uganda.

“You get to hear a bit about the children’s stories, and how they came to be in Watoto,” Kimera said. “But ultimately, it’s a celebration of what life has become now, compared to how it was.”

For all the children in the choir, the tour is their first time outside Uganda.

“It’s fun,” Kimera said, laughing. “They love the snow—not everyone here does, but we do.”

For concert dates and more information, visit watoto.com.

 

Just Posted

Three incumbent councillors re-elected in Houston

Houston mayor and director of Electoral Area G re-elected by acclamation

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accident kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read