Last night the family and I went to listen to the choir for what is called Watoto, who are the children of Uganda. These kids who have lost their parents either to the Aids epidemic or who were killed in the civil war that has besieged their country for years, represent the future for Africa. What is sad is that the Wahoto project can only house 1500 kids due to budget constraints. Thousand of other African kids are forced into the military and taught how to become killing machines. It is unnerving seeing a picture of a 8 year child holding an AK-47 knowing that this kid could kill anyone without remorse.
The Watoto children sang their hearts out. It was hard to believe that these kids were parent less, because you could see in their eyes a sense of hope, love and a future as African leaders. They introduced themselves one at a time and also told us their ambitions and what they wanted to be. Some wanted to be pastors, doctors, policeman, fashion designers, teachers and one even wanted to be a professional soccer player.
During the performance I noted some collections plates that were clearly visible for all to see. It than dawned on me that we were going to be hit up for a donation. Obviously these kids had no idea how we Americans have been suffering. They must not of seen the evening news which showed us an American driver filling up their 6,000 SUV and bitching about how it was costing $100 to fill their tank. They couldn’t even fathom how hard it was as that same driver got into line at a fast food restaurant to order their super sized meal that housed enough calories to fill the stomach of an Africa elephant!
So as the collection plates were passed around the crowd, I slipped a cool $20 into the plate. I prided myself on my generosity. After all, these were tough economic times, the likes we have not known since the great depression or even worse, depending on which news cast I watched. I also watched everyone as we left the building with smiles on our faces, knowing how generous we had been as we climbed into our vehicles to return home, knowing how bad things are for us. These kids had it made!
As I drove home I thought about an email I had received last week. In it the message stated ‘why is it that when we place a $20 into a church collection plate we view ourselves as being generous, yet when we go to the grocery store we complain about how little that same $20 can buy?’
The Watoto website is here.