Edube Zelukamu Luka

Edube dreams of becoming a teacher and a professional football player.

“I admire teachers and also love teaching. I know that when I become a footballer, I will be able to get a lot of money that I will use to help children who are homeless,” he says.

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Edube is able to dream because of the support he receives from sponsors around the world, who contribute to his physical care, medical needs, education and general well-being. But his life didn’t always have hope.

Edube’s parents died of AIDS in 2010, leaving him and his siblings in the care of their uncle, who was unable to take care of two families. After Watoto was contacted, Edube (4 years old at the time) and his siblings became part of the Watoto family.

He is now a happy child in Watoto’s Primary School and is on the Watoto Children’s Choir, travelling to UK in January 2015. He will be presenting Watoto’s new album, Oh, What Love.

“On the choir I will be playing drums and singing too. During tour, we will be singing about the love of God and how we have become his children,” says Edube.

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Help us to change the stories of other AIDs-affected children like Edube by sponsoring a child. Click here and change a story today.

World Aids Day – Frederick Ankunda

Frederick’s parents died of AIDS when he was a little boy. For a few months his grandparents took care of him, but they died too.

After local authorities contacted Watoto, Frederick and his siblings were settled into a family at Watoto’s Suubi Village. “I remember being so excited because I was told that I would be able to go to school. I was thrilled about the new environment. I had never seen anything like it before,” Frederick recalls.

Frederick, now 21, is studying Catering and Hotel management at the Vocational School in the Watoto village.

He majors in Baking and looks forward to working in a big hotel in Uganda for work experience, and then starting his own restaurant. Aside from cooking, his other passion is music, which he speaks about passionately.

“Since childhood I knew I loved music. When I was selected to travel with the Watoto Children’s Choir in 2006, I looked at it, not only as an opportunity to be an ambassador, but also as a platform to improve on my singing. Choir gave me the first step that I needed towards becoming a musician. The daily vocal training taught me how to control my voice – a key component to becoming a good musician,” he says.

Frederick started up a music group that occasionally sings on Sunday’s in church and also during school events.

“Starting the Gifted Boys group has been the first step towards me achieving my dream. As the leader of the group, I compose the songs we sing. I have written a number of songs and believe that, with the right support, I will be able to start singing professionally,” says Frederick.

When he isn’t playing the guitar during his leisure time, Frederick enjoys basketball and helping his mom in the kitchen.

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Today, World AIDS Day (1 December 2014), we’re asking you to change the stories of other AIDs-effected children like Frederick by sponsoring a child. Click here and change a story today.

A New Sound From the Heart of Africa

Africa is growing to greatness. In today’s Africa, people are migrating from their villages to the ever-growing metropolitan cities. They are increasingly connected with what’s happening outside the borders of their homes, cities and countries. Innovation and modernity are central to the new African lifestyle.

During the day, the streets are bustling as people rush to catch the next bus to their work places. By evening, as offices close, people dash out to socialise on sidewalks, lined with the latest shoes and designer bags, and vendors who are ready with roasted meat. Music blasts from every corner of the city, and somewhere a new and unique sound is heard. It’s a colourful blend of traditional drums vibrating in motion to the rhythm of synthesizers. A fusion of exotic melodies and electronic instruments, which convey joy and express the life of a new Africa.

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This is the sound of Oh, What Love – Watoto’s latest music album, which will be performed by the Watoto Children’s Choir in 2015. Watoto’s hope is that the music will travel everywhere, that it will permeate people’s cars, schools, churches and homes, and reach out to different generations.

Oh, What Love is a fresh production right from the heart of Africa, produced and written locally, and performed by the children of Mother Africa. It is the kind of music that will connect the children on stage with the heart of people in the audience.

“We have embraced a lot of modern beats, but have not forgotten our roots. This is a new kind of Watoto that the world needs to know,” says Comfort Asianzu.

When people listen to African music they expect to hear drums, harmonies and melodies in the vocals. This new production offers all of that and more. Watoto has synced African elements with modern concepts to create an Afro-Urban sound.

Africa is a diverse continent, with different cultures and beliefs, but we find unity in our music. “In this production, we have used a number of different languages from different groups across Uganda. We all feel represented,” says Roy Kaddu.

New beats are evolving throughout the week, fleshed out with heartfelt harmonies to create powerful songs of worship and celebration. These songs tell the story of separation, suffering, redemption and restoration in the lives of children who were once orphaned. Take a sneak peek of what’s to come in this video.

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Oh, What Love will be travelling to the UK, USA and Canada in January 2015. Book the choir here.