Tiki Taane puts focus on former child soldiers with new song
Tiki Taane puts focus on former child soldiers with new song release
Celebrated Kiwi musician Tiki Taane today releases his new song ‘Falling Angels’ in collaboration with World Vision, with all proceeds going to World Vision’s work rehabilitating former child soldiers as part of next month’s Live Below The Line challenge.
Tiki will also be ‘living below the line’ for aid agency World Vision, consuming only $2.25 worth of food and beverages per day for five days to highlight the everyday struggle of the 1.2 billion people worldwide who live in extreme poverty.
The popular musician and social activist says the project has been a part of a journey he’s on to deepen his understanding of global issues of extreme poverty and development.
“This song is a reflection of what I’ve experienced from my travels around the world, and inspired by the kids I've met in Aotearoa", Tiki says. "I tried to express the sorrow, confusion and disillusionment that I’ve seen first-hand in my work with young people.
“I've chosen to work with World Vision to help highlight one the most horrific injustices against children - the child soldiers of Uganda,” says Tiki. “This is the hardest project I've taken on and often it leaves me feeling a deep sadness, but I know I must fight the urge to turn away and do nothing. Doing nothing would go against everything I've been brought up to do. World Vision are doing exceptional work rehabilitating children who have experienced abduction, abuse, rape, and military enslavement.”
Tiki’s interest in the fight for global equity is deeply rooted in his Maori heritage.
“Caring about other human beings and doing what you can to help them is a strong kaupapa that I’ve tried to weave into my work for years. There is our whanau here in Aotearoa, and a greater concept of whanau that challenges us to see all humanity as connected.”
“I’ve come to realise that there are lost children all over the world who are ‘falling angels’, desperate for help and care.”
The proceeds that Tiki raises will fund World Vision’s life-changing work in Gulu, Uganda, where a centre has been founded to rehabilitate former child soldiers abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army back into their community.
The harrowing crimes that the LRA commit against the children they abduct are some of the worst on the planet. One of their most shocking practices is the way they force captives to become perpetrators of violent acts – often against those they love.
The trauma experienced by those kidnapped by the LRA makes it difficult for them, once free, to simply return home and continue on with life. Formerly abducted persons remain some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society, requiring comprehensive support to resettle back into their communities.
World Vision are providing that support in Gulu by distributing basic necessities such as clothing and bedding, facilitating psychological rehabilitation, arranging access to medical treatment, working with partner agencies to hold vocational and skills training sessions, and helping vulnerable families improve their economic wellbeing by adopting technology that will lead to increased food production.
Margret Aloyo is just one formerly abducted person that has received help through the Gulu Centre. Abducted as a nine-year-old and held captive for 11 years, Margret escaped with her two children only to be rejected by her father due to the stigma associated with child soldiers.
“The rehabilitation centre stood for me as their own daughter, they provided the basic things to start life, including renting a house for me because I had nowhere to go, and helping me a lot through guidance and counselling.”
Tiki Taane is proud to be a part of World Vision’s work in Gulu, while at the same time, increasing New Zealanders’ awareness of those living in extreme poverty.
“I believe that empathy is one of the most powerful forces in the world,” Tiki says. “That’s what this is all about. Of course I can’t imagine the horrors these children have endured as child soldiers, but I can connect to their struggle with compassion and I’m inviting others to do the same.”
‘Falling Angels’ can be downloaded via ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/falling-angels-feat.-ria-hall/id915602222
You can sign up or support World Vision’s Live Below The Line campaign here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/nz/partner/worldvision