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Schools for Humanity Today, more than ever, we need a revolution in education and SFH is leading the way. More >
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Schools for Humanity We’ve been in touch with the U.S. State Department to learn how Schools for Humanity can help with the tragedy in Haiti. More >
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Schools for Humanity “You’re making such a difference to our community. Before the school, we had no hope. With the school we can make dreams...” More >
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African recording artist and philanphropist, Angelique Kidjo learns of SFH
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Angelique KidjoDuring my first visit to Shashemene, Ethiopia, I was introduced to one of the most powerful voices in music: grammy winning, Angelique Kidjo's voice shouted out of the speakers of Dave Brown's iPod. I knew right away, that I wanted to download all of her music to my iPod when I returned to the US.

As much as I listened to Angelique Kidjo's music when I returned from Ethiopia, I never thought in a million years that I would actually meet her and talk with her about our work in Ethiopia.

While at work one day, I was boarding a flight from Dallas-Ft Worth to Leon, Mexico, I noticed a petite lady with a beautiful smile, and blonde hair boarding the aircraft. It was Angelique Kidjo!! I remember trying to compose myself and hoping that I wouldn't scare the hell out of this woman: I was sooooo excited, and honestly, I wanted to immediately grab and hug her tightly, but I remained professional,
and gently said "Hello Ms. Kidjo". I told her how much I loved her music, and how much of an inspiration she is for all women.

During the flight, I remember hearing a sharp, deep voice shout the words " Oh My God....You know Wondimu"? I turned and looked at Angelique, and she was holding up the in-flight American Way
Magazine. You see, during the month of October, American Way magazine featured an article about our trip to Shashemene. There was a picture of Wondimu Seba ( Chief of the village in Shashemene) Keith Holland ( Flight attendant that traveled with me) and I in the magazine. Angelique stated that she knew Wondimu, and that she had the opportunity to meet him when she traveled to Shashemene. She asked me several questions about Schools for Humanity. She told me about the Batonga Foundation and how she wanted to do everything that she could to help little girls in Africa. I'll never forget when she made me promise to continue working hard for the children in Africa. While listening to Angelique's deep, powerful voice, I felt chills all over my body. She expressed her anger and disappointment about the lack of education, violence, and poverty that is still happening in Africa and stated that this is what drives her to do all that she can to try to make a difference.

Before she left the plane, she gave me all of her contact information and we promised to stay in touch! At the end of the flight we were hugging one another and saying goodbye, What an experience!! I'll never forget the flight!!

In February of this year, I had the pleasure of attending the Grammy winning Angelique Kidjo's concert. I can't find the words to explain how fabulous this concert was. Her voice touches every nerve
ending in your body. She didn't need background dancers, because she danced from one end of the stage to the other. "Amazing", is all I can say. Angelique mixed it up with alot of African and Salsa dance moves. She invited several people to join her on the stage, and needless to say, I ended up on the stage dancing before the night was over.

The following day, I met with Angelique before leaving Dallas, and during our chit chat, I asked if she would be interested in a fund raiser event for Schools for Humanity and her Batonga Foundation. She agreed to discuss details for an event and told me that she wanted to put me in contact with the lady that manages the Batonga Foundation. I received a call a few days ago from the Batonga Foundation and we plan to collaborate ideas and possibly fund raise together for the children in Africa. I am so proud of Angelique Kidjo. She represents strength, and courage, and she also has sooo much electrifying energy, and power in such a petite body. She's AMAZING!!!

(And so are you Dena - Editor's comments)

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