|© UNICEF Rwanda/2010/Ellen|
|Norwegian rappers 'Karpe Diem' sing and drum with children at a UNICEF-supported centre for former street children in Rwanda.|
By Misbah M. Sheikh
KIGALI, Rwanda, 13 August 2010 – While in Rwanda recently, the renowned Norwegian rap group ‘Karpe Diem’ visited children benefitting from UNICEF programmes. The band was in the country with a film crew to shoot footage for an upcoming UNICEF fundraising concert in Norway.
While in Rwanda, the band – which comprises two dynamic male artists, Chirag Patel, 25, and Magdi Abdelmaguid, 26 – visited a centre to help re-integrate children who have lived on the street. They also went to a hospital that promotes a prevention, treatment and support package for children affected by HIV and AIDS.
Music and games
During their visit to FIDESCO, the centre for former street children, Mr. Patel and Mr. Abdelmaguid spent time playing a friendly game of football with the centre’s children. Following the game, the band taught them to sing back-up – in Norwegian – to one of their famous songs, ‘Tog,’ which means ‘train’ in Norwegian.
The children hummed the melody and even added their own bass and drums, which made for a wonderful ‘made for television’ short film.
“We are thrilled to be able to do something for these children,” said Mr. Patel and Mr. Abdelmaguid. “When UNICEF asked us to stage a concert in Norway to fundraise for children around the world, how could we say no? It is our way of helping to make a difference in children’s lives.”
‘We have learned so much’
The duo said that they were moved by the positive changes in children who had once faced such difficult circumstances on the streets of Rwanda. In particular, they were inspired by UNICEF programmes in support of children living with HIV.
“We have learned so much here,” said the rappers. “For a poor country like Rwanda, it is really great to see how UNICEF support can make a difference in so many children’s lives.”
Karpe Diem’s concert in Norway will help raise funds for UNICEF-supported activities worldwide.