It was near impossible not to be inspired by the infectious smiles and message of hope delivered by the Watoto Children's Choir during their weekend visit to the Bega Valley.
The children from Uganda, backed by a handful of adult musicians, performed to appreciative crowds in Pambula and Bega from August 24-26.
A gospel revival-type gathering, the performances were hosted by the Pambula Baptist Church and Sapphire Coast Resonate Church and held at Lumen Christi Catholic College on the Friday night and Sapphire Coast Anglican College on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Bright colours, funky music and smiling children singing and dancing on stage had many in the crowd tapping their feet and grooving along – religious or otherwise.
There were also presentations throughout to share the message of Watoto – a church in Uganda delivering education, trade skills and a supportive community to some of the region's most vulnerable.
There were stories of days-old babies abandoned, children who lost their parents to rebel fighting, or even a young mother whose partner was killed in a traffic accident. In each case the ministry was able to offer a home and skills for their future.
Given "Watoto” is Swahili for "children” it's only natural the youngest members of the church travel the world to spread the message and raise money for the work of their "family” back home.