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Ugandan Children’s Choir “Watoto” kicks-off Taiwan concert tour to raise support for vulnerable children (08/12/10)

Ugandan Children’s Choir “Watoto” kicked off their two week “Make Melodies for Hope” concert tour at a press conference hosted by World Vision Taiwan this afternoon. Watoto, which means ‘children’, will perform in Taipei, Chiayi, Taichung, Hsinchu, Taipei and Hualien from August 15 to 30. (Please see full schedule below).

“The voices of Watoto have touched many lives during the choir’s previous tours (in 2006 and 2008),” said Hank Du, Executive Director of World Vision Taiwan. “Their performances are not only musically excellent, but also tell the story of how they have overcome tragic experiences.”

“Watoto Children’s Choir has 20 child performers who have lost parents to civil conflict, HIV and AIDS, or other tragedies,” said Brian Abaho, Watoto’s leader. “With Watoto, children can gain a bright future and travel all over the world to spread the message of hope,” he said.

Ronald, 10, one of the choir performers, shared his story of transformation during the press conference.

“When I was a just a little boy, I lost both of my parents to AIDS. After the death of my parents, my siblings and I were sent to live with our grandmother,” said Ronald. “She struggled to put all five of us through school and so my siblings and I had to drop out of school.”

“One day a social worker came to visit. She told my grandmother all about the work that Watoto was doing to help support Ugandan orphans. A few weeks later my siblings and I were taken to a Watoto village where we now have the privilege of going to school and have enough to eat. I even have my own bed and a loving family to share my life with,” said Ronald.

During the press conference, in addition to singing English and Swahili songs, the choir sang a Taiwan pop song “The Heart of Appreciation” to show their gratefulness for the Taiwan public. In the middle of the song, they were joined by the Taiwan Children’s Choir supported by World Vision Taiwan.

In closing, the Taiwan Children’s Choir took the hands of Watot’s choir members and sang “The Sun above the Clouds,” a Christian hymn to bless Watoto’s upcoming tour.

World Vision first partnered with Watoto in 2006 to generate public awareness for HIV and AIDS and advocate for orphaned children around the world.

Proceeds from the concert tour will go towards Watoto’s work in Uganda and World Vision’s HOPE Initiative which supports children impacted by HIV and AIDS. Donations will also benefit children living in extremely difficult circumstances, such as street children in India or disabled children in China.

For a donation of NT500 per ticket, World Vision invites the Taiwan public to attend these benefit concerts to give hope to vulnerable children.

 

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