CARE AND CHOIR GIVE KIDS SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT
Life turns around for AIDS orphans
News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, page 7, October 5, 2005
By: Belinda Warren
As nine-year-old Ronald Kigongo sang in front of thousands of people yesterday, his cheeky smile and enthusiastic dancing belied the hard life he has endured.
Ronald is one of two million Ugandan children who have been orphaned - 880,000 as a result of AIDS.
His father died last year and then, when his mother became sick, Ronald and his two younger brothers were sent to their grandmother.
“Our grandmother didn’t have any money to take care of us”, Ronald said. “We had to work very hard, carrying firewood, fetching water in the hills. We could not go to school”.
But life turned around for the boys when they were taken in by the Watoto Child Care Ministries.
Now they live in a house with eight other children and a carer. They are schooled and Ronald excitedly tells us he has running water in his house.
Ronald and 17 other children from the Watoto Children’s Choir, yesterday visited Australia Zoo and performed in the Crocoseum, before getting a closer look at the animals.
They travel the globe in their Concerts of Hope tour to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Through their concerts, Australians have been made aware of their plight and are raising money to build more homes. Eighteen Watoto Children’s Choirs have traveled around the world, giving more then 300 children the chance to develop.