Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Charlie Marie Lyons’ new music video “Change”, based on her new single inspired by the humanitarian work of NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, was released today on YouTube as Mutombo builds support for construction of a new school in his impoverished home country of Congo.
The NBA Hall of Famer and board member at UNICEF USA has worked tirelessly since 1997 to improve primary health care, disease prevention and education in his native land. His latest project is construction of a modern pre-K to sixth grade school in a region where 240,000 children have no access to modern education.
Seeing Dikembe’s passion for bringing equal educational opportunities to boys and girls outside the city of Mbuji-Mayi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Charlie was inspired to write “Change”.
“The only way to change the world is to contribute selflessly,” said Lyons.“ I wanted to identify a story of hope that will encourage restoration and prove that focus and unity can go a long way to achieving constructive change.”
“Your song is a gift of life that you’re giving to the young Congolese people so they can have a better education, and I want to thank you for doing that, and for being who you are,” said Mutombo after seeing the video.
Lyons has committed all streaming revenue from the single and music video to support the work of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation. Named after Dikembe’s late father, a teacher and school superintendent, the future Samuel Mutombo Institute of Science & Entrepreneurship broke ground in July 2020 with opening slated for this October. In its first phase, the school will welcome 440 girls and boys to its classrooms.
The school will include a “Change” classroom devoted to music and art. Lyons and the Mutombo Foundation plan a long-term relationship to support the school, and Lyons will help build the curriculum that’s taught in the classroom. In addition to the supplies and equipment necessary for teaching music and art, the classroom will host an artists’ wall of signatures to commemorate all the students who pass through the music and art program.
Mutombo eschewed becoming a doctor in favor of a bigger paycheck in the NBA so he could do more for his homeland.
“Whether it’s my work as NBA Global Ambassador, as a board member at UNICEF USA or through the initiatives of the foundation that bears my name, I see myself first as a humanitarian,” said Mutombo. “I can’t do it alone, which is why I’m touched knowing that Charlie’s new single and music video are inspired by my work and will earmark all their revenue to supporting the foundation.”
A Music Video for the Greater Good
The “Change” music video takes a fresh approach to its production, employing the music and lyrics to inform and inspire support for a man and his work for the greater good. And unlike the majority of music videos with their polished, fictional material, content in the “Change” music video is real – drawn from archives and other factual sources.
About the Foundation
The Dikembe Mutombo foundation was launched in 1997 and in 1999 its first project along with several international and local partners vaccinated 8.2 million children in the DRC, resulting in a virtually polio-free country for four years.
That was followed by construction of the Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa. It was the first hospital of its kind built in the DRC in 45 years. Opened in 2007 with 170 beds, the hospital is named after Dikembe’s mother and, to date, has treated almost 600,000 people.
The foundation also worked with the U.S.-based Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide free hearing aids to almost 10,000 people.
To donate, go to the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation web site at dmf.org.
Computer animation of the completed school is available on YouTube.
See the “Change” music video on YouTube.
For more on the artist, visit charliemarielyons.com.
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Foundation strives to accomplish this goal through an emphasis on primary health care and disease prevention, the promotion of health policy, health research and increased access to health care education for the people of the Congo.