Double-amputee West redefines what is possible and has inspired millions of people. He will encourage Lovato fans to never give up on their dreams.
At age five, West lost both legs from the pelvis down and was told by doctors he would never be a functioning member of society. In 2012, West found the inner-strength and endurance to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, physically climbing on his hands and in his wheelchair. This climb garnered international media attention, raising more than half a million dollars for international charity and educational partner, Free The Children. His thought-provoking message and spirit will inspire Lovato fans to find opportunity in every challenge.
West met Lovato in 2012 where they shared the stage at We Day, a series of stadium-sized youth empowerment events held across North America and the UK. Both inspired tens of thousands of young people when they shared their personal struggles, the impact of being bullied, and how they found the inner strength to prevail. We Day was also the launching pad for their friendship.
“I know the power of music and understand the impact it can make,” says Lovato. “I also know and understand the power of spoken word. The first time I heard Spencer talk about his personal journey I was moved. I couldn’t be happier that he’s joining my tour, and I know my fans will make a personal connection with him too.”
“I am so humbled Demi asked me to be part of her World Tour,” says Spencer West. “Demi is truly breaking ground and paving the way for celebrities and the causes they care about. To have the opportunity to reach her fans sharing my personal story, and the work I do – well – it’s a dream come true. She has the most devoted fans out there and sharing our message together is a huge honor.”
Last year, Spencer joined Lovato for her milestone 21st birthday on a Me to We volunteer trip in East Africa. On the trip, Lovato helped build an X-ray clinic and then removed her gumboots to haul water for the women living in the drought-stricken rural community. She also joined in a traditional beading circle with Me to We Artisans Maasai Mamas. The Me to We Artisans program employs more than 1,200 Maasai Mamas, providing them with an alternative source of income so they can pursue their dreams and support their families and communities.
Meeting the Maasai Mamas moved Lovato to create the Limited Edition Demi Lovato Rafiki Friend Chain. This piece will be sold at all tour stops for $15 with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards Lovato’s goal to fund the building of a Women’s Empowerment Center in Kenya. This center will provide a unique opportunity to reach women who shoulder major household responsibilities without much (or any) formal education or skills training. The center will offer skill training workshops aligned to local culture and traditions, will provide access to computer labs and offer a space to accommodate local artisans who are participating in the Me to We Artisans program giving women the autonomy and capacity to create strong economic futures for themselves and their families.
“Throughout my tour I was looking for ways to give back. After spending time in Kenya and working alongside the Maasai Mamas I knew I wanted to share their beadwork with my fans,” says Lovato. “My hope is that the proceeds from the Limited Edition Demi Lovato Rafiki Friend Chain will help to continue to empower women in Kenya, giving them a brighter future with economic independence for them and their families.”