Marilyn Skinner is the vibrant and energetic wife of Gary Skinner and together they give leadership to Watoto Church, a Community Church in Kampala Uganda with over 20,000 people gathering each week to celebrate the life and hope they’ve found in Jesus Christ.
Marilyn and her husband Gary founded Watoto Childcare Ministries, an International Organization in 1994 in response to the plight of Africa’s millions of children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. Currently they are caring for over 2,600 Ugandan children in children’s villages where every child is raised in a family setting rather than an institution. Their vision is that these children will be raised to become future leaders of Uganda and Africa.
The Watoto Children’s Choir which Marilyn founded, tours the world annually as advocates for the 14 million African children currently orphaned by AIDS. “Concerts of Hope” are held in Churches, Community Halls and Schools. The choir has performed before Presidents and Royalty in the White House, Buckingham Palace and many other National Parliaments. Audiences are inspired as the children sing, dance and celebrate their story of hope.
In addition to championing the cause of the orphaned child, Marilyn is committed to restoring dignity to HIV+ women, left to bear the brunt of AIDS, war and social injustice. She believes Africa’s greatest resource is her women waiting to be empowered.
More than 2,100 women have experienced an improved quality of life through Living Hope, which Marilyn founded in 2008. Many of the women have been victims of human trafficking, abducted from their homes as little girls and distributed amongst rebel soldiers as sex slaves. Through Living Hope they are equipped with necessary life skills through vocational training and empowered through income generating projects enabling them to become productive members of the community. The comprehensive psychosocial support these women receive has given them purpose, dignity, and a future.
The Return To Dignity book, a recent and first release from Marilyn, is a collection of stories of faith, courage, hope and transformation from the women at Living Hope. Marilyn Skinner describes the journeys of eight women who overcame adversity and emerged triumphant despite the many difficulties they encountered.
The book is available in the various Watoto regional offices in US, CAN, UK and AU.
In Asia, pre-orders can be made by writing to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marilyn is passionate about seeing the Watoto Church holistic model replicated throughout Africa.
Drawing from her deep and tested faith, Marilyn is a passionate speaker, encouraging women all around the world to stand up against inhumane practices such as human trafficking, child soldiers, HIV/AIDS stigmatization and all forms of injustice.
Marilyn has shared her story at women's gatherings across the globe including Hillsong's Colour Conference in Australia and UK; Shine Women's Conference in USA; Cherish Conference in UK, Relate Church in Canada and many others. Through her inspiration, women from all walks of life and faith are mobilized to work together to make this world a better place.
Canadian born, Marilyn has lived in Kampala, Uganda for over 29 years with the love of her life, husband Gary. She is the mother of three children and grandmother of four.