At the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in NYC, multi-platinum recording artist and mental health advocate Demi Lovato announced her partnership with international advocacy organization Global Citizen as an Ambassador, championing mental health with a special focus on vulnerable communities.
In the initial phase of the partnership, Demi Lovato & Global Citizen will support the world’s leading child-focused humanitarian organization Save the Children by funding the expansion of their Healing and Education through the Arts (HEART) program to Iraq.
In an on-stage moment shared with Carolyn Miles President & CEO of Save the Children and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans, Lovato said, “I am proud to stand with Global Citizen to call on governments around the world to prioritize mental health as a key agenda. Ending the stigma around mental health conditions and supporting internally displaced children to build physical and mental resilience through education and access to justice is not a choice, it needs to happen, and it needs to happen now. By supporting Save the Children’s HEART program in Iraq we can, and will have a life transforming effect for a number of children.”
Through an arts-based approach, Save the Children’s HEART pilot program will support the mental health and psychosocial care of internally displaced children affected by chronic stress now living in Kirkuk and Salah al Din, Iraq.
Since 2014, over 3 million people in Iraq were forced into displacement within their own country due to war and conflict. Recent research by Save the Children shows the pressing need to help heal the emotional distress of children in Iraq deeply scarred by memories of extreme violence.
“Save the Children is extremely grateful to partner with Demi Lovato and Global Citizen to bring our HEART program to Iraq for the first time. Displaced children in Iraq are scarred from memories of extreme violence they’ve lived through. Some even suffer from vivid “waking nightmares” or are too traumatized to speak," said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children at the Global Citizen Festival. “Through drawing, painting, music and other art forms, children can creatively express how they are feeling in a safe place and start on the road to recovery. The HEART program will allow them to process their grief, begin the healing process and rebuild their self-confidence and trust in others. After enduring such darkness, displaced children in Iraq will now be offered a glimmer of hope and a chance for brighter future.”
Demi first partnered with Global Citizen in 2016 when she performed as a headliner in New York City for the Global Citizen Festival. Since then, she has joined Global Citizen in Mumbai and in Hamburg for the organization’s first Festivals in India and Germany.