Watoto Child Care Ministries is part of Watoto Church, based in Uganda, East Africa. The church was planted in Kampala in 1988 by Gary and Marilyn Skinner, as a source of hope for a city and nation known for its violence and poverty.
As a defining moment in his life, Gary recalls being taken to visit a 79-year-old widow who had mothered seven children. As they walked through the banana groves behind her small hut, she pointed out the graves of her husband and six of her children. AIDS had killed them all. Her one surviving child, a daughter, was dying of the same disease. Thus he was moved to respond to the call of James 1: 27, which says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” and Watoto Child Care Ministries was born. It started with one house where eight orphans and a widow were given the chance to become a new family.
From there has grown Watoto Villages, clusters of nine houses where a mother cares for the orphaned children. The villages incorporate outdoor spaces with sports fields and landscaped areas that allow the children to play and develop their social skills. They aim to create an eco-friendly environment for these children, raising them to become leaders who bring sustainable change to their nation and beyond. To make this possible, Watoto is implementing better ways of building sustainable and cost-effective homes and villages by harvesting rainwater and using solar energy.
As a parish, we support Watoto by sponsoring a family. Parishioners commit to giving $1 or $2 a week throughout the year. If you do not already participate in this, and would like to do so, please see the list at the back of church. Other donations are also welcome (as is usual for our ‘charity of the month’) in an envelope in the collection plate.
Donations to Watoto Childcare Ministries are tax deductible. If you need a receipt, please include a note with your donation asking for one.
We receive regular updates and letters from our sponsored family: please speak to Carol Curran if you would like to help write to them.
For more information about Watoto see https://www.watoto.com