Listen: Dami Im chats about Uganda trip. Above: Dami with kids in Uganda. Photo: Facebook.
When the Eurovision votes were being counted and the world’s eyes were watching Dami Im, the pop-princess had a special little girl on her mind: six-year-old Jovia, in Uganda.
The singer told Channel 7’s Sunday Night that she was thinking of her Compassion sponsor child at that moment, and decided that if she had to make a winner’s speech, she’d dedicate her prize to children in poverty.
“I’ve been given more than I dreamed of. This is something I need to do—even if it holds my career back.”
After the glamorous song contest was over, Dami then stuck to the commitment she’d made long before Eurovision was even on her radar: a visit to Jovia in Uganda’s slums. It was against the wishes of her managers, who wanted her to capitalise on her fame and tour the world. But she knew it was the right thing to do.
“I want this trip to happen because I know otherwise I will probably become this big greedy monster,” she told Channel 7. “I’ve been given even more than what I dreamed of…this is something I need to do – even if it holds my career back.”
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The pop princess and Compassion Ambassador has just returned from that trip, bringing awareness to child poverty and meeting the little girl she’s been sponsoring since last Christmas—the eighth sponsor child for her and husband Noah.
Dami told Hope 103.2’s Laura Bennett that she saw the timing as providence.
“I thought—‘wow’, it worked out perfectly just after Eurovision so I could bring the most attention to the work Compassion is doing, and to the kids living in poverty,” she said.
She said it was an “incredible” experience.
“I visited the slum she was living in. But Jovia and the kids being sponsored were being given the opportunity to go to school with a uniform and books, and getting care from the Compassion staff members,” she said. “They’re being told that they’re valuable they’re precious, they have worth—where otherwise they wouldn’t feel that way because of the poverty.
“It made me realise what an impact the sponsorship was making…giving her a whole new opportunity to break away from the cycle of poverty.”
“Because of the Compassion staff they actually are being loved and cared for and it was amazing to see what an impact it was bringing her – not just with physical help, but mentally and spiritually reminding her who she is.”
She said the contrast between performing for millions in stadiums, and performing for 200 children in a t-shirt and jeans, was stark—but she loved it.
“I loved seeing the other side of the world and being able to really remember the reason for what I do,” she said. “It was very grounding and amazing.”
Phones Running Hot at Compassion Australia
Dami’s been encouraging others to consider sponsoring children, and given how busy things are at the Compassion Australia offices in Newcastle this week, her wish is coming true.
“We’ve had an incredible response, lots of children sponsored…and so many people contact us finding out who we are and what we’re about, which is very encouraging,” said Compassion’s communications officer Michael Cauchi.
While Compassion is well known in the Christian community, Michael said the exposure brought by Dami’s trip had introduced them to a whole new crowd. “We’re reaching into a new audience who’ve never heard of Compassion,” he said. “We are very thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given to partner with Dami and share God’s love for his children on a mainstream platform.”
What Gets Dami Up in the Morning
When Hope 103.2 asked Dami what gets her up in the morning, her answer wasn’t about pursuing record industry fame.
“I want to live a life where when I look back I don’t want to think ‘I should have done more of this or more of that’,” she said. “I want to live without regrets. Before I’m an artist, I’m a daughter of God… because of His grace I can do good works. And for me that is helping people know who they are—especially children living in poverty.”
“Before I’m an artist, I’m a daughter of God, a servant…and for me that is helping people—especially children living in poverty.”
“For me, if I just went chasing money, fame, glamour all my life then I think that would be a life I’d regret. Even though I love going on challenges and doing all that, I think it’s important for me that before I’m an artist, I’m a daughter of God, a servant, I live because of his grace and because of his grace I can do good works.
“And for me that is helping people to know who they are—especially children living in poverty.”
Thankful For The Noah Factor
Dami said that since her newfound world fame, her husband Noah had gained his own Instagram following, and she credited him for helping her live a more meaningful life.
“To be honest, I get all the spotlight, but really a lot of it is Noah and his belief and his vision,” she said. “He’s the one that suggested we should do something for Compassion and he’s the one that always suggests, ‘We should donate what we earn from this, we should do things that are more meaningful’… He’s my mentor in that way, he’s much more than somebody assisting me and following me around.
“I’m very lucky to have a husband who does that for me.”
Find Out More
To watch the video of Dami’s trip or find out more about child sponsorship go to the Compassion Australia website.