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Watoto African choir performs in Clanton

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Watoto Children’s Choir performed at Clanton First United Methodist Church on April 4.

The group’s show, called “Signs & Wonders,” was full of energetic dances, uplifting lyrics, lights, videos and live music. The show included many popular Christian songs that the choir put their own style into.

“It was such a blessing,” United Methodist Women president Judy Riviere said. “I hosted some of the children in my home last night … they were so appreciative, polite and warm. It was just a great experience.”

During the show, members of the choir shared stories about their experiences as orphans in east Africa.

Most members of the choir are orphans that Watoto Child Care Ministries has rescued. They now travel to raise support for the Uganda-based Watoto Church’s outreaches to orphans and widows in east Africa.

“The choir goes out to raise awareness of the plight of these people, to raise funds to help out with what we’re doing back home … to get people to come alongside us in whatever capacity they can,” tour leader Roy Kaddu said.

So far, Watoto has provided skills training, discipleship and basic education for more than 4,000 vulnerable women. The ministry goes into neighborhoods and provides these women with jobs and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.

“What we are doing is trying to help them get up on their feet by giving them a hand up … so they can earn an income for themselves and a livelihood,” Kaddu said.

The choir is on a six-month tour through the United States. Nine adults accompany the children and assist with the performance.

While on tour, the children spend a couple hours a day doing schoolwork. They also have a discipleship class in the afternoon before setting up for their performance.

At the end of each day, the choir members go home with host families before heading to the next location.

For more information about Watoto Church and its ministries, visit watoto.com or call 866-492-8686.