African orphans out to spread love across Asia

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017

Colourful show: The Watoto children’s choir performing for a crowd of 400 people at the Church of Praise in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Fifteen African orphans are on a mission to spread love and share their experiences through their music in a six-month tour across Asia.

Most of the children lost their parents to AIDS and war. They started their journey in Japan and Hong Kong before coming to Malaysia last month.

Blending native African rhythms and contemporary gospel music complimented with ethnic dance moves, the children brought the Church of Praise’s hall to life here in a touching yet vibrant concert last Sunday.

Clad in colourful costumes, the group sang 10 songs and shared their heart-wrenching life stories to the parishioners.

Young and chirpy Yvonne, who is only seven years old, also shared the brighter side of their lives after the orphans sought refuge from Watoto, a shelter where some 3,000 children have been homed.

“Watoto has become our home, playground, school and place of worship and we are thankful for the help of the kind souls across the world who have contributed to the cause,” she said before inviting the crowd to her village in Uganda.

The leader of the group, who identified herself only as Edith, also shared how she had grown up in the Watoto ministry and managed to defy all odds by becoming a strong and educated woman.

“I lost my parents at a very young age and grew up in the Watoto village, where they not only provided me with food and education but also love and encouraged me to be a better person.

“So, when I completed my degree in Ethics and Human Rights, I knew I had to come back and help the younger ones,” she said, adding that her success could not have been possible without the generous contributions from her sponsor.

The Watoto children’s choir was formed in 1994 to spread love to other nations besides offering the children an experience that would benefit them holistically and designed to train and equip them as future leaders.

Church of Praise pastor Michael Yeo said the congregation contributed RM66,500, which was collected for the cause, during two sessions.

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