A group of young children looking to spread the message of hope for Africa’s orphans and widows is coming to Fort McMurray.
The Watoto Children’s Choir will be in town this Saturday and Sunday where they will be performing their musical production for residents. They are in Canada for a six-month tour, visiting cities from Ontario to British Columbia.
Each of the 18 children performing are from Africa and have lost one or both of their parents.
Country Director for Watoto Lorne Hamlyn tells Mix News each also get the chance to share their powerful stories.
“It’s hard not to go to one of these concerts and not shed a tear, I’ve seen the biggest, burliest guys in concert – when they hear these stories it can’t help but touch your heart.”
Since 1994, over 1,600 children have taken part in the tour – each getting only one chance to do so.
Hamlyn says the tour is as entertaining for the viewers as it is valuable for these kids.
“Of course, it helps improve their confidence, their English skills, for many English isn’t their first language and it also helps expand their worldview.”
The choir is also highlighting the struggles widows face.
In 2007, they started a program looking to help improve the quality of their lives.
“They’re living in slum conditions, have very little income, and very little opportunity to provide for their children,” added Hamlyn.
Over 4,000 women have gone through the program with 158 currently holding down jobs with Watoto.
The Choir will perform at Evergreen Community Christian Reformed Church on May 5 at 6 p.m., at the Family Christian Centre on May 6 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. followed by Fort City Church at 6:30 p.m.
The last time they were in Fort McMurray was 2016.