Watoto means "children" in Swahili. These Watoto children are orphans. When they were young, their parents either died or abandoned them. There was no one to care for them. They felt unloved and unwanted. That is when Watoto took them in.
Part of their leadership training includes touring as a choir for six months. They travel throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Performing dances, singing songs, and sharing their story- the Watoto children bring Africa to you!
I soo enjoyed their performances! It was incredible to see their smiles and hear their stories. They worshiped freely as they sang about Jesus.
My favorite song was the last one, I think. It was a traditional song. The boys had white hand-prints on their bellies, and they all wore frilly bands around their clothes. Some of the boys played the big African drums, and the rest of them with the girls danced. It was amazing. I felt like I was in Africa for a moment.
It isn't quite the same, but here is a video from a couple years back of one of the choirs performing a traditional song-
Here is another song that they performed (again, it was taken like three years ago). When you remember that they are orphans, this song is just beautiful!
Their music is so much better in person! The choir will be traveling through Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan this month. (I don't know where they will be outside of the USA.) The group of children that I was able to see will be finishing up their last month on tour in June.
After that, another group will come up from Uganda. Their tour will start in the USA in December 2013. It starts out in the west- Arizona, Washington, and California. I expect that there will be more dates and possibly more groups as it gets nearer. I really suggest that you go if you can! These kids are amazing! :) You can see the tour schedule HERE.
You can sponsor a Watoto child too. I really wish I could. Like I said, these kids are amazing! Each child has multiple sponsors, but you can still write and receive letters. Go HERE for more info on that.
How have you seen another culture or people recently?