LOS ANGELES — African singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo recently traveled on September 2 to the eastern part of Chad, a highly-insecure part of the country which borders on the war-torn region of Darfur in Sudan. Upon her return, Kidjo announced that proceeds from the video download of her newly-released single "Gimme Shelter" will benefit international relief and development agency Oxfam. The first video, which also features Grammy-nominated Joss Stone, is available for download on iTunes. "Gimme Shelter" appears on Kidjo's latest album, the critically-acclaimed DJIN DJIN.
"Oxfam is a feisty campaigning organization," said Kidjo. "I support them not just because of their amazing humanitarian work in countries like Chad but also because they campaign and tackle the root reasons why people are poor. I want to shine a light on the terrible situation in Chad and Darfur and this song which means so much to me, is my way of trying to make a difference not just through the donated sales of the single but by hopefully reminding people that poverty and suffering is not that far away from all of us."
Kidjo has a longstanding relationship with Oxfam and met with its humanitarian workers on her recent trip to Chad. After the trip she called on world leaders to use all diplomatic means to establish an immediate ceasefire in the neighboring Darfur region in Sudan. There are now more than four million people in need of humanitarian aid in Darfur, with two million of them living as virtual prisoners in camps they are too scared to leave. In eastern Chad, there are some 230,000 refugees from Darfur in 12 camps, with another 180,000 'internally displaced' Chadians forced from their homes.