Watoto Children's Choir

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

As a continuation from the previous post, Saturday was a wonderful day for myself, starting with the gathering with my MPP group and ending with an incredible performance put up by the Watoto Children's Choir that I watched with the Boings. 

Watoto is an organization that helps and takes care of the orphaned children and vulnerable women in Uganda and the Choir acts as the advocates for all these children in Africa that have succumbed to terrible things like AIDs/ HIV, war, poverty and disease. They tour many countries including Singapore (evidently). For more information, do visit the Watoto Asia website here! How are we involved in this though? Essentially this year, Shermaine has rallied the help and support of my entire class (406 whoop) to sponsor a child in Uganda - his name is Rogers! :-) 

As it's a class project, it only costs us 1-2SGD each to change a life somewhere across the globe and it's truly amazing if you think about it. It's mindblowing how people are able to simply reach across the world like that and provide aid and I'd really like to thank Shermaine for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. 

Before heading to the Bethesda Cathedral for the performance, I met the Boings at City Hall to grab dinner first. I don't think any of us were very hungry then so we didn't really eat much, except for this super pretty jelly agar agar thing that got destroyed because we all wanted our favourite colour roses. 

Looks super pretty :') Sherm bought it! :-)

And at Mos Burger :-) 

Wang You! :-) 

Priya! :-) 

Shermz! :-) 

Sarah! :-) 

Phionna! :-) 

On the way there, we didn't really know exactly how to get to the place and we alighted one stop before the one we were supposed to get off but fortunately, the bus driver was so incredibly kind and allowed us to get back onto the bus without paying again (we couldn't anyway, because the machine registered our ez-link cards as having alighted from the bus). Luckily, we made it in time :') 

It's a very pretty place! 

And here's us :-) I have very pretty friends, I know. 

I don't think there are any words to describe the hope and inspiration these children posess in them and it wouldn't really mean anything if I were to try because one would really have to witness it to fully experience the magic. Unfortunately, the choir has ended its run in Singapore - I'm sure they'll come back next year though!

Sarah, Wang and myself before the performance :-) 

Phion and Priya with Debbie who joined us when we were there! 

And this is Shermaine - the one who made amazing things happen :') 

Although I don't think I'd do justice if I were to describe their performance but do allow me to share something that struck me the most while witnessing the magic on stage. It was that these kids had the confidence for ambition, something that is so rare for children like myself. During the concert, they showcased the various stories of the children and many of them, even though orphaned, still harboured great dreams like becoming a lawyer or doctor, to save others and even to become a future leader of Africa, to stop poverty, hunger and corruption there. It's amazing how they have the confidence for such great ambition, announcing it proudly to everyone present and not being afraid of making their dreams known to all. 

Compared to people like myself, even when I am blessed with all - or at least comparatively more of the resources available - to make me a successful person, one who can do great things for the world; such as the right to an admittedly good education, I don't see myself having the courage to pursue such a huge dream, due to the fact that am always weighed down by the mere thought and fear that I am not good enough and am never going to be. 

While it may be true that we come from completely different circumstances - for the children, they were rescued from a plight much much much worst than the one they are currently in and were given a new lease of life. Perhaps that has given them the mindset that since they were able to overcome a situation so bad, they'd be able to overcome anything. For someone like me, being fairly fortunate and not having been through something as terrifying as theirs, having minor obstacles such as a bad grade or failure in application of something would greatly stumble and deter me greatly from doing or continuing things that I am keen on. 

However, is that a good enough reason to not dare to dream, to not have an ambition of what I can do in the future? In my head, yes it still is - it is difficult to change or develop this dare to be ambitious. But in my heart - the heart that the Watoto children touched - no it isn't. It isn't a good reason, not at all. 

The ability and confidence to dream, to have ambition, shouldn't be relative to what one has gone through but rather what one possesses. And with such a criteria, I should by right be more ambitious and more grateful with that I have, make use of them and aim higher, for the benefit of others. It may be a little far fetched to expect myself to do great things but watching them has made me think: instead of constantly looking at my own flaws and complaining about how I'm not good at something, why don't I be appreciative of what I am good at or actually do have, because that might just make me become a more grateful and thankful person, one who might just be able to contribute to the world in a way beyond what her little mind can come up with at the moment. No, wait - let's not call it a little mind, but an ever-expanding mind - we need to be aware of what we've got and stop undermining ourselves. 


Ending off the brilliant night with a photo with two of the Watoto Choir children :-) 

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