'Songs For Desert Refugees' is a benefit album whose aim is to raise funds for refugees in and around the rural communities of Aguel'hoc and Tessalit in the north east Mali. Both villages have seen the fiercest fighting in this conflict and their nomadic populations are in severe distress. Many families have lost everything.
'Songs For Desert Refugees' features a superb mix of desert music, including rare or unreleased tracks by some of the world best known Touareg groups, from Mali (Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Terakaft, Tartit...), Niger (Bombino, Toumast, Etran Finatawa) or Algeria (Nabil Baly Othmani, Faris).
The music on this compilation is the sound of what the Malian deserts can be; intense, joyful, beautiful, proud, poetic and peaceful. It is dedicated to all those who are working to make it so again.
All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to two trusted NGOs who work with refugees in Northern Mali. The first is called TAMOUDRÉ and it works with nomads in the pastures around Tessalit, scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the recent months. TAMOUDRÉ helps these nomads to make their livelihoods more prosperous and secure, socially, economically and culturally.
The other NGO is called ETAR. It supports education projects and helps to protect and disseminate the beauty of Tamashek culture and to develop cultural exchanges between the desert and Europe. It is currently raising funds to build a cultural centre in Aguel'hoc, another community that has suffered a great deal in this war.
The money raised will be used for food, blankets and medicines. All involved in producing the album are giving their services for free.