A little piece of Africa comes to Langley when the Watoto Children's Choir performs Jan. 19.
The Thursday evening concert is by a children's choir that's part of a program to help orphaned and abandoned kids in Africa.
Each of the children in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both parents. They live in Watoto Children's Villages.
Established in 1994, the Watoto Children's Choir has travelled internationally as ambassadors for the millions of children in Africa, orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war, and poverty. There are about 22 kids in the choir and about 10 adults. The young performers range in age from six to 13.
The Jan. 19 show is Beautiful Africa: A New Generation and will feature original African music, dance routines, and stories about the children's lives.
"Beautiful Africa: A New Generation is a brand new concert and tour that has never been to Canada," explained Justine Stewart, the group's Canadian spokesperson.
"The concert includes traditional, vibrant costumes, all new dances performed by the children and new songs," Stewart said.
The free concert starts at 7 p.m. in the Bethel Mennonite Church, 24687 56 Ave.
This is one of the first shows for the choir on its cross-Canada tour.
The goal is to create awareness about the Watoto program and get Canadians to provide sponsorship and financial support. Items such as CDs, jewelry, and T-shirts are sold at concerts and people can sponsor a child for about $35 per month.
Watoto means "the children." There are currently three children's villages in Uganda. Watoto villages consist of homes for the children, a school, medical clinic, community centre, and an agricultural project. The villages are home to about 2,500 children impacted by war and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The newest component is the Living Hope program. The 2012 Canadian tour features products made by women being helped through the program. The goal of Living Hope is to restore dignity to vulnerable women, particularly HIV positive single women, returnees from abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army, and teenage mothers.