Kato’s life is a story of hope and belief that life can be better for every child. Born and raised in Kampala, his love to work with disadvantaged children began as a young child when he lost his mother at the age of 12 years.Kato grew up through suffering and pain, situations most orphans and other vulnerable children experience on a daily basis. The death of his mother ushered him into a becoming a street child in the slums of Kampala City in Uganda not by choice, but due to the hard and unbearable circumstances. Life on the street gave him no option other than stealing, hitting people, using drugs, together with many unlawful activities for survival with street life.
After nearly 4 years of hopelessness as a street kid, salvation came through Regina Schweizer, a German missionary who helped Kato and got him into a rehabilitation home. It was at this rehabilitation home that he experienced new physical and spiritual life and restoration. His passion for music and creative arts led him to study music at African Institute of Music Kampala where he learnt to play the guitar. Through the guitar, he ministers in one of the local churches in Kampala and in several community outreach programs.
With all that he went through, Kato felt that it would be unfair if he just stood aside and watched, see children go through similar situations he went through. His conviction and passion brought together friends and YoChild-Africa was birthed to support orphans and other vulnerable children in Uganda to live an empowered and transformed life.Kato is married to Helmien Kato and together they lead the team at YoChild-Africa.
Born in South Africa, Helmien moved to the Netherlands with her parents when she was 6 years old. Since her teenage years, Helmien has been involved in evangelism and outreach work. Her love for evangelism and outreaches led her to serve for two years in Albania, South Eastern Europe with Athletes in Action as part of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Helmien first came to Uganda in 2008 on a project with Athletes in Action. She served in a camp with about 300 street children, teaching them different sports and sharing Jesus with them. It was in this camp that she first met Joseph Kato, his husband now.
Helmien was so blessed by the Ugandan street children and she thought she had come to give, instead received much more than she could give.
Though never thinking of returning to Uganda after this project, Helmien went to Bible school at Livets Ord in Upsssala, Sweden. After two years of Bible School she continued studying theology at Livets Ord Theological Seminary also leading the Street Outreach team in one of the international subareas of Uppsala and serving in soup kitchen. This period helped her build her foundation in Christ Jesus.