Refugee Camps during COVID-19

Watoto Read needs your support to provide critically needed soaps, masks, and hygiene supplies to the refugee students we serve in Chad. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Watoto Read has remained in communication with our partner, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in the refugee camps in Goz Beida, Chad to stay updated on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the refugees.

As of the end of April, there are nearly 35,000 confirmed cases across Africa according to the World Health Organization.  These figures are likely underestimated due to variations in reporting and access to healthcare for evaluation, particularly in more remote areas.  There is an extreme shortage of physicians across Africa and many African countries do not have hospitals or intensive care beds to care for COVID-19 patients or even access to basic equipment or medicines.   Access to ventilators is extremely limited even in the most modern and populated countries. Given the challenging nature of their healthcare system, prevention of spread of COVID-19 is critical. As you can imagine, healthcare resources are even more scarce in refugee camps and given close living quarters, spread of COVID-19 could be catastrophic. Soap and other basic personal hygiene supplies are in critically short supply.

In mid-April, we received an update from JRS that there are presently no cases of COVID-19 in the refugee camps Watoto Read supports; however, there is a serious concern for refugees as there are confirmed cases in communities close to the refugee camps. The government of Chad has closed all the schools in the country including those in the refugee camps.  Most refugees live with extended family in one home making the opportunity to practice social distancing extremely limited.

Although the refugee children are not in school in Chad, Watoto Read is committed to helping keep them safe and healthy during this COVID-19 crisis. We have been given an opportunity to partner with JRS in providing soap, masks, and other basic hygiene supplies to help reduce risk of spread of COVID-19. Please consider supporting Watoto Read to help provide soap and basic hygiene supplies to refugees in Chad. All gifts, large or small, make an incredible difference!

International Day of Education

Today, January 24th, is the International Day of Education, a day to recognize and remember the importance of education.  The United Nations declared January 24th the International Day of Education in December 2018 to formally recognize that education plays a key role in building peaceful, sustainable and resilient societies.  Education contributes to increased productivity of individuals and strengthens the potential for economic growth, develops the skills needed for decent work, develops the professional skills needed for sustainable development, including in the fields of water and sanitation, green energy and the conservation of natural resources, helps to eradicate poverty and hunger, contributes to improved health, promotes gender equality and can reduce inequality, and promotes peace, the rule of law and respect for human rights,  
Watoto Read is working hard to address the lack of access to education in refugee camps in Chad, Africa.  Did you know that as much as 70% of refugee children don’t complete elementary education?  
Join Watoto Read in celebrating the role of education in our global society! 

Bench Campaign

Make a difference in the life of a refugee child this Holiday season by providing benches for them to sit & study.

Happy Thanksgiving! November Newsletter

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on our many blessings… Watoto Read is incredibly grateful for each one of you and for the opportunity to serve the refugee children in Chad, Africa. Thank you for your compassion, love, & generosity. The Watoto Read team would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! May you be blessed with lots of love, laughter, and good food.

Our November Newsletter is out! Please click here to read the newsletter.

June Newsletter

Be sure to check out our latest newsletter for June, by clicking here! We have had an exciting month and lots of great information to share with you!

Also be sure to subscribe to our newsletters to get them directly in your email.



Watoto Read will be hosting Dr. Mireille Twayigira, a prior Rwandan refugee, with a very powerful story about how education has changed her life. We invite you to join us to hear her story for yourself!

Saturday, April 13th at 11:30am
Columbus All Nations Church
994 Oakland Park Ave.
Columbus, OH 43224

Sunday, April 14th at 8:00, 9:20, & 11:00am
Centenary United Methodist Church
102 E Broadway
Granville, OH 43023

Sunday, April 14th at 5:00pm
Lewis Center United Methodist Church
1081 Lewis Center Rd
Lewis Center, OH 43035

Big News! Construction is about to start!

We are unbelievably excited to share with you that we are about to build our first classrooms in the refugee camps. On Monday, February 26th, Watoto Read transferred $69,000 to our partner Jesuit Refugee Services for the construction of six classrooms and some latrines. Construction will begin this spring in the Goz Amer camp!

We are so grateful for the generosity of our many donors in 2016 and 2017. You made this possible.

Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about the progress. We cannot wait!

Christmas Organ Concert featuring Josh Brodbeck

We appreciate everything you’ve done to help Watoto Read in its mission to provide educations to children and young adults in African refugee camps.

Sunday, Dec. 10
2:30-4:30 p.m.

What: Christmas Organ Concert featuring Josh Brodbeck and holiday refreshments

Where: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
2001 Northwest Blvd

Columbus, OH 43212

Why: To thank you for your generous support of education for children in refugee camps in Chad.

RSVPPlease RSVP to us if you plan to come. Thank you!

Joshua Brodbeck

Joshua Brodbeck

Joshua Brodbeck is a young American concert organist who is in constant demand as a performer and hymn fest leader. At the age of nine, Mr. Brodbeck performed in first concert in the United States. He made his international debut at age 12 playing for an organ dedication in Slovenia, Europe. Throughout his brief career, Mr. Brodbeck is known, and is commended for his varied programs that please audiences everywhere.  Recent engagements have included tours in Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, with other engagements taking place in the United States.


Mr. Brodbeck began his studies at Bluffton University at the age of 12 with Dr. Stephen Jacoby. After graduating high school, Mr. Brodbeck studied at the Capital University Conservatory of Music as well as the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with Mr. Todd Wilson. Throughout his time studying, he won first prize in many competitions including the American Guild of Organist’s Young Artist Competition.  Since graduating, Mr. Brodbeck has had coaching sessions with Mr. Paul Jacobs of the Juilliard School of Music and Dame Gillian Weir of the United Kingdom.

Currently, Mr. Brodbeck is the Minister of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio. In this role, he oversees the entire music program and concert series. Mr. Brodbeck is also the Artistic Director for the Delaware Community Chorus and Director of Worship for the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.