Together with their production companies the four members of the 1970s supergroup are going to sponsor the construction of a house in the newly constructed SOS Children’s Village Bossangoa, Central African Republic built in honour of Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren.
"SOS Children’s Villages have a very serious and long term approach that we were impressed by and we thought it would be fun to build a house in the village," said Bjorn Ulvaeus in an interview with the Swedish business web magazine di.se. Ulvaeus, along with Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad is one of four former members of the Swedish pop/rock group which was formed in 1972. During the 1970s they became one of the most successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide until their breakup in 1983.
The four former members of the group have reunited to give a loving home to 10 children in the Central African Republic. There are two villages in the Central African Republic, in Bangui and Bouar, and a new village is being constructed in Bossangoa, consisting of 12 family houses for 120 children. The new Bossangoa village will include a house funded through donations from ABBA, in cooperation with their record company Polar Music and their music publishing house Union Songs.
"It’s fantastic that ABBA, Polar Music and Union Songs engage in our work," said Anna Ryott, Managing Director of SOS Children's Villages Sweden. "Thanks to that we will be able to give more children in Central African Republic a loving home and a caring family."
The Children's Village in Bossangoa is being built in memoriam of Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren, known internationally for her Pippi Longstocking books. The house has been called "Bullerbyn" - a village in one of Lindgren's books. The initiative has been taken by the company Saltkrakan (run by Lindgren's relatives), toy company Micki Leksaker, and the amusement park Astrid Lindgren’s World. The construction is a long-term cooperation which also includes a preschool, a school, a medical centre and a social centre.
"The combination of Astrid Lindgren and ABBA has a special glow I think. To do something with Astrid Lindgren’s relatives felt like a good idea," said Mr Ulvaeus, who has been an Lindgren’s work.
The 67-year-old musician has never been to the Central African Republic, but the house that will be built has inspired him to find out more about the country and possibly visit the village in the future. When asked why the members of ABBA opted for supporting the SOS Children's Village in Bossangoa, Mr Ulvaeus explained: "One has to be convinced that the money really is used for the purpose. That was what convinced us. This project will be a reality and it is concrete, it is not a lot of middle hands that take away some of the amount on the way."
--all quotes from Bjorn Ulvaeus are taken from an interview of the Swedish business magazine di.se.