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A Night to Remember

“I’ve hopes that overflow like a flood rushing through my soul,” rendered the Watoto Children’s Choir during what would be best described as a night of powerful vocals, energetic moves and overwhelming thankfulness on Thursday, January 14.

Their second time in Ipoh was the end of the choir’s “Oh, What Love”, Live Tour of Asia 2015. The ensemble, consisting of 18 children aged 8 to 17 clad in vibrant costumes, toured internationally as ambassadors of Watoto by presenting the mission of Watoto via music and dance.

Watoto is a holistic care programme that was initiated as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned, vulnerable children and women in Africa.

Explaining the theme “Oh, What Love” was Frankie, the choir team leader who has been with Watoto for seven years. “So many people are broken and going through hardship. Hence, tonight is about connecting the people with God. My hope tonight is for people to walk away knowing that God loves them,” he told Ipoh Echo.

Tenby Schools Ipoh hosted the choir for the first time ever in line with the school’s effort in promoting international-mindedness and giving back to the community. The free-seating session was attended by over 600 students in the afternoon and 300 Tenby community at night.

“They dance and sing so well. It’s such a heart-warming moment, as we sing along and cheer for them all night long,” said a retired businessman in the audience.

“The Watoto Children’s Orphanage was founded in 1992 with the aim to support up to 10,000 orphans. At present they support about 4000-odd orphans and vulnerable women. With these children, they take them in, provide them with a foster mother and help them lead a normal life,” stated Jane Kuok, the Tenby campus principal. The rescued children live in a Watoto village which has a clinic and community centre for school assemblies, community functions and church services.

Last year, 15 Watoto students graduated from different universities in Uganda. Hence, sponsorship is their greatest need. You could sponsor a Watoto child, Watoto baby or Living Hope (for women – most of whom are HIV positive and returnees from abduction with the rebel army) with just about RM150 per month which in turn provides them with a home, food, clothing, education, medical and spiritual care. Find out more at www.watoto.asia.

Watoto Children’s Choir will be back in February to April next year.

Mei Kuan

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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