Children from Africa bring message of hope

The Watoto Children’s Choir hopes to spread a special message as they get set to perform in Red Deer Feb. 23.

The Concert of Hope will take place at the Unity Baptist Church in Red Deer. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Watoto means ‘the children’ in Swahili and these children are on a mission that will take them on a journey from the west to the east coast of Canada this year.

Through inspirational songs and compelling stories, the Watoto Children’s Choir is spreading a message of hope for Africa’s children.

The concert is a family-friendly event featuring African rhythms and harmonies, which are accented by brilliantly coloured costumes and inspirational stories from the children of Watoto Children’s Villages in Uganda, East Africa.

The music is both moving and captivating as the energy of the Ugandan children is felt throughout the audience.

Watoto was established in 1994 as a compassionate response to the critical AIDS crisis in Uganda.

Today, Watoto is impacting the lives of more than 2,000 children who have been orphaned and abandoned as a result of the AIDS epidemic, civil strife, extreme poverty, or other catastrophic events, by providing for their physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs.

The goal of Watoto is to give these children hope, purpose, dignity and meaning.

Living Hope is a new Watoto program that has transformed the lives of about 1,200 women in Kampala and 900 women in war torn Gulu, Northern Uganda.

The target groups are HIV positive single women, returnees from abduction by the Lord’s Resistance Army and teenage mothers. The goal of Living Hope is to restore dignity to vulnerable women.

The 2011 Canadian tour features fair-trade items for purchase that are made by women in the Living Hope program.

For more information about the Watoto Children’s Choir visit www.watoto.com. The concert in Red Deer is free of charge however a love offering will be taken and child sponsorship as well as Watoto retail will be available.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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