Singer Colton Dixon is teaming up with a cause near and dear to his heart as part of an inspiring new music video for his single "Build a Boat."
As a father to twin girls, the American Idol alum, 30, was moved by the story of Ousseynou and Assane, twin boys in Africa who were in need of life-saving surgeries after their legs began to bow outward.
The "Build a Boat" music video, which PEOPLE is premiering exclusively, tells the boys' story, which took a positive turn thanks to the help of Mercy Ships, an international faith-based organization with floating hospitals that allow volunteer surgeons and medical professionals to bring life-saving surgeries to places that would otherwise be without them.
"Writing this song, 'Build a Boat,' obviously there was that immediate connection with Mercy Ships given they build hospital ships, but more than that, I love the mission of what they do," says Dixon. "Being a parent now with twins of my own, it really hits close to home knowing we can help people, especially young kids, get the healthcare and surgeries that they might not otherwise have access to."
Jimmy Fontaine Colton Dixon
Ousseynou and Assane eventually received the help they needed on the Africa Mercy ship, which was docked off the coast of Senegal. Their story, as well as that of others who've benefited from Mercy Ships, is featured in Dixon's new music video.
For Dixon, hearing about twins in need hit close to home, as he and wife Annie share 2-year-old twins Athens Elizabeth and Ava Dior, or Dior as her parents call her. Dior was born in August 2020 without a pulse, and had to be resuscitated by doctors and nurses.
"This song is all about having faith through the dry seasons and it means a lot that we can bring that hope to other people around the world," Dixon says.
Courtney Acuna Colton Dixon and his family
Mercy Ships launched in 1978, and has since worked in more than 55 countries. Its newest vessel, Global Mercy, can fit 200 patients, six operating rooms and more, and is expected to help more than 150,000 people over the next 50 years. The organization also plans to train and mentor African medical professionals for a "multiplied impact" within their own communities.
Dixon, meanwhile, opened up to PEOPLE in June 2021 about life as a girl dad, and said he was already loving watching his daughters grow into their personalities.
"They're already blooming into their own person. It's so cool to see," he said. "The older they get, the more personality you see, which is so fun."
As for following in their father's footsteps, Dixon said his girls are "definitely interested in music."
"Every once in a while, little Dior, if music is on, she has this really soft, sweet voice," he said. "She'll get real quiet and then she'll start ... we think it's singing. It's the cutest thing."