The Watoto Children’s Choir will be singing at the Washington DC Visitors’ Center on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Their performances are a soulful blend of African rhythm, contemporary gospel and ethnic dance designed to inspire audiences and focus their attention on the HIV/AIDs crisis in Africa.
The founders of Watoto moved to Uganda where they were met by a world of orphans and heartbreaking stories. For instance, one widow was 79 years old, and as she walked through a banana grove, she pointed out the graves of six of her seven children, all who had been killed by AIDs. Her last surviving child—a daughter—was dying of the same disease.
Surrounded by her 23 grandchildren, she pleaded in the way only a mother who has known the certainty of deep loss can, “I am an old woman and I can no longer dig. One day soon, I will also die. Who then will look after my grandchildren?”
This widow’s story is multiplied thousands of times over in Africa —which has become the continent of orphans. The Watoto Children’s Choir entertain, but also remind their audiences of a naked reality that cannot be ignored.