TO THE powerful beat of the African drum, 21 orphaned children sing "I am not forgotten, God knows my name".

The Watoto Children's Choir performs from the heart to raise awareness about the 50 million children in Africa orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war, poverty and disease.

In an energetic fusion of contemporary gospel and traditional African rhythms, they sang yesterday at Immanuel Lutheran Church which, in conjunction with Immanuel Lutheran College, has helped contribute to the building of the Watoto villages in Uganda.

Head of junior school Lyndal Mayer plans to go to Uganda next year with her husband to help.

"We just hope to make a small difference where we can," she said.

"We can't do everything, but where we can make a difference is really good."

The Watoto children's villages are a haven of security, peace, education, purpose and spiritual vitality giving hope and dignity to the beautiful children of Africa.

Choir leader Robert Sendergeya said the choir had been travelling for about five months raising awareness and funds.

"It's hard when you have no one to care for you," he said.

"You don't experience what other children are experiencing.

"You don't go to school and you don't have food to eat.

"But all that is transformed when they come to the villages. They receive a mother, get brothers and sister, and share a life again."

All the children in the Watoto Children's Choir are sponsored.

To help other children or to find out more, visit watoto.com.

The Watoto Chikldren's Choir perform at Immanuel Lutheran College.
The Watoto Chikldren's Choir perform at Immanuel Lutheran College. Warren Lynam


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