Watoto On The Go

Pipestone Flyer

 

TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF THIS EVENT CLICK THIS LINK    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnRuq5Uz2Pg

The Watoto African Children's Choir was hosted by Zion Lutheran church in Wetaskiwin on March 22nd.  The Watoto Choir will be back in Wetaskiwin at Calvary Baptist Church at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 10th.  The choir tours and presentations are an integral part of the Watoto program to “rescue, raise, rebuild” the children and nation of Uganda and Africa.

    As the result of HIV/AIDS, poverty and war, 47.5 million African children have been orphaned.  By 2011, UN figures indicate that 16.6 million children aged 17 and under have lost their parents to HIV.  In 1994, Gary and Marilyn Skinner established Watoto as a compassionate response to this crisis.  Today, Watoto is providing for the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of more than 2,700 children with the additional goal of providing leadership training so that they  may be leaders in rebuilding their nation and all of Africa.  

    Watoto embraces the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”   It is structured in three children's villages, with the children living in houses in the village, each house as home for up to eight children and a house mother, the new life-long family for each one in the home.  The villages are also involved with agricultural sustainability projects which contribute to Watoto goals in two ways.  Interested older children and young adults have the opportunity to learn practical agricultural vocational skills and practices, and the villages work toward becoming self-sustaining in the production of meat, vegetables and dairy products.  The agricultural projects currently involve a goat farm and dairy production, vegetable gardens, and a poultry farm.  Goats milk is considered the next best thing to mother's milk for babies, good nutrition that reduces illness, and providing their three babies' homes with goat milk from their own farms costs $100,000 per year less than the cost of babies' formula.  (I know from experience that goat milk is exceptionally good.)  Other sustainability projects include guest-houses, production of promotional merchandise, and timber and metal fabrication units.  Each area also contributes to opportunities for vocational training for the older children and young adults.

    Watoto also includes provision of medical care, counselling, moral and spiritual discipleship, whatever is needed for sound recovery and development.  These services also extend to Living Hope, a program for restoring dignity to vulnerable women.  As Marilyn Skinner writes, “Poverty, war, disease and abandonment rob millions of African women of hope and dignity.”  Her book “Return to Dignity” tells the stories of a number of women who  have found restoration, health, and life with a purpose through Living Hope and its process of restoring dignity.  They are heart rending stories of hope fulfilled.

    The choir tours obviously contribute considerably to the Watoto organization in raising funds through sponsorships, merchandise sales and other support, and recognition.  However, care is taken that the tours also contribute to the over-all development of the children.  The current choir tour consists of 22 children and 11 adults, so the children have ample care givers.  Their schooling continues while on tour, and they also gain invaluable knowledge of other peoples, cultures, ways of life in other climates in addition to performance skills and stage presence.  The tours are planned so that each child gains as much as possible from this broad experience.

    For the audience, a Watoto Choir presentation is an exhilarating experience of musical energy, rhythm, and worship combined with brilliantly vibrant colours.  It is also the stories of children who have been rescued both physically and spiritually, who have experienced the emotional healing power of Jesus Christ.

    Those living within range of Wetaskiwin are fortunate to have another opportunity to attend a Watoto Concert.  There is no admission charge, but an offering is taken, and merchandise is available.  This choir puts on a performance like no other, one that must be experienced to be appreciated.  Again, the Watoto Choir will be at Calvary Baptist Church in Wetaskiwin on April 10 at 7 pm.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

Most Read