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One Campaign Celebrities Support Global Development International Aid
Some of the United Kingdom’s most popular musicians — the boy band, One Direction, and the solo heartthrob, Ed Sheeran — have joined the fight against global poverty. Both recorded sessions in support of the ONE campaign, an initiative that is striving to eliminate all significant fiscal inequities by 2030.

Although they just recently joined the ONE initiative, One Direction is not unfamiliar with charity and advocacy. Earlier this year, the band toured Ghana to record a single and raise money for the annual British philanthropic event “Red Nose Day.” Moreover, the band has offered to pledge over $319,000 from their upcoming tour in order to support cancer research. Tellingly, ONE’s collaboration with One Direction seems to be fitting not only in namesake, but also in the capacity of goals and hopes.

In the contemporary developing world, ONE has enacted major positive change on a global scale. The organization, comprised of over three million employees, campaigners, and advocates, has been working relentlessly to eliminate extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa. Co-founded by Bono, the organization raises political awareness about critical illnesses like AIDS, whilst also investing significantly in nutritional and agricultural programs.

Due to the success of ONE’s programs, over 7.5 million people have been given access to life-saving medication in Africa, a prodigious increase from just 50,000 recipients in 2002. Instances of malaria have seen a 75 percent reduction since 2000. Furthermore, in the past 13 years, 51 million more children have access to primary school across sub-Saharan Africa, an increase that is unprecedented in the continent’s history.

Furthermore, ONE has collaborated with a wide-range of African activists and policymakers in order to shape an auspicious future. In working closely with these African leaders, the organization attempts to effectively eliminate corruption and aid misuse, helping to form a democratic and just society in which all, regardless of class or racial backgrounds, are protected and secure.

In light of its successes, ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not receive government or public donations. The organization maintains its funding through select philanthropists and organizations. Thus, advocacy, rather than fundraising, is key—ONE strives to educate the public of the fatal repercussions of rampant global poverty, inspiring a new generation of change.

With some of pop music’s most recognized faces leading the campaign, ONE is sure to receive an influx of attention in the coming weeks, which could, in turn, change the face of Africa.

– Anna Purcell 

Sources: ONE, AND POP
Photo: Daily Billboard Blog

ending_poverty
Over the past two decades, sweeping statements about our ability to end poverty have been common. Lyndon Johnson declared it in 1964. Thabo Mbeki in 2002. Tony Blair in 2005. More recently, Obama and U2 frontman Bono have attempted to inspire action by reiterating our capacity to make an impact and in April press conference, Jim Yong Kim wrote “2030” on a piece of paper, held it up and stated emphatically that this was the deadline to end global poverty.

More common than our leaders’ public displays of confidence, however, is our general inaction towards capitalizing on our ability to use it. This is not necessarily a reflection of the stinginess of those in power; the international response after disasters and during successful charity drives is a testament to the existing desire to aid those in need. Rather, we are grappling with a problem of mismanagement and misconception.

Ending poverty is achievable in the way winning an Olympic medal is achievable. It will take energy, time, luck, effort, money and above all, indomitable will to ensure its success. It has to be properly managed and directed. Currently, what we have is akin to having a potential star athlete without a trainer or equipment.

The Washington Post estimates that if countries were to donate 50 cents of every $100 earned in income, it would drastically decrease poverty – if properly funneled. The cost to end poverty is not, in and of itself, exorbitantly high, especially in comparison to budgets for other programs. Yet the money already used is too often misused – charity, while noble, is often a misguided venture which temporarily alleviates rather than solves problems and too little is directed towards programs that could help because of fear of corruption or siphoning by dishonest governments.

The Millennium Project has released a report Investing in Development which outlines the numerous ways a small amount can have a huge impact. Malaria nets in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, are magic bullets: eliminating disease, potentially lowering birth rates and allowing greater productivity. The provision of obstetric care could save hundreds of lives, while using local healthy foods to provide nutritious school lunches could increase revenues for farmers and improve child health and performance in schools.

Too often, people think of poverty as an unconquerable single problem. In reality, poverty is the result of a confluence of factors, all of which have structural solutions. Although it is complicated and requires long-term planning, a fatalistic view of poverty is solely an excuse for not trying. Estimates put the total cost of the US contribution around 60 billion – a fraction of what the nation spends annually. With so much potential benefit in terms of emerging markets and sound international security, the cost to end poverty seems almost a bargain price.

– Farahnaz Mohammed

Source: The Economist, Washington Post
Photot: Middlesbourgh Diocese

Agit8 Concert Promotes Anti-Poverty Campaign
Musicians from around the world performed in London this past Wednesday to support Agit8, a music-based campaign focused on raising awareness for extreme poverty. The group was launched by the One Campaign, a group co-founded by Bono and Bob Geldof. The idea was to get modern groups to record newer versions of famous protest songs.

The Agit8 concert hoped to put pressure on leaders attending the G8 summit in Northern Ireland next week. Musicians that participated included Angelique Kidjo, Paloma Faith, U2, Will. i. am, Elvis Costello, and Green Day among others. Artists appeared to live and online to participate in the event.

One of the artists at the event remarked that Agit8 is a movement to push leaders to fulfill their promises and to be held accountable.  Ending poverty will grow economies around the world and result in a healthier and more educated global workforce.  The artists involved in the campaign want to motivate a new generation to fight against extreme poverty and hunger.

The One Campaign gathered the extraordinary group of musicians together to show the world that protest often leads to progress. History has shown that and British filmmaker Richard Curtis produced a film showing this that will also be shown in conjunction with the event.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Sources:The Irish SunNTD Television
Photo: Yahoo Finance

Musicians
Several popular musicians protest global poverty by writing protest songs about the issue. Stars such as Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Will.I.Am, Sting, Elvis Costello, and Green Day are among some of the artists who have joined the agit8 campaign to fight world hunger and poverty.

The agit8 campaign is an event that challenges leaders to stand up to fight poverty during the global G8 summit this year in Northern Ireland. The summit focuses on the world’s most pressing issues, and global leaders have a chance to speak up for issues they care about and feel should be addressed. The agit8 campaign is supported by the One Campaign, which was co-created by musician & activist Bono to help raise awareness about poverty and hunger problems around the world.

The One Campaign also works with filmmakers and actors to demonstrate through movies how protests have led to a major change in the world. Music is another way to lead change because it has the power to get many people involved. When fans learn about the causes their favorite artists support, they can instantly become more aware of global problems and learn how to take action. And with more people aware of the problems of the world, more people are supporting nonprofit organizations and charities to alleviate those problems.

Katie Brockman

Source Evening Express

How Bono Got Interested in Global Poverty

Nowadays, Bono’s face is synonymous with activism. The lead singer of U2 is known as much for his humanitarian work as for his music, if not more. Known for his charisma and tirelessness, Bono has been championing causes such as poverty reduction and AIDS relief for decades. He is the celebrity face of activism and has had incredible impact in garnering momentum for the movement of international aid.

Bono got his start in activism after he performed at Bob Geldorf’s groundbreaking fundraiser, Live Aid, in the late eighties. The performance spurred a month-long trip to Ethiopia with his wife, Ali Hewson, where they worked on a famine relief project. The two said they were stunned by the conditions, and Bono walked away determined to change what he’d seen. He repeatedly tells the story of the end of his visit, when a man asked the singer to take his son with him. As Bono explains, “He knew in Ireland that his son would live and in Ethiopia, his son would die…At that moment, I became the worst thing of all; I became a rock star with a cause.”

After that, his humanitarian work began in earnest and has only increased in intensity and scale. The early 90s saw tours around Central America and campaigns with major organizations to rally support for development work. As U2’s fame grew, so did Bono’s influence. He is a key player in a number of powerful advocacy organizations including DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade, Africa), the ONE campaign and the Make Poverty History movement, as well as launching an ethical fashion campaign and promoting the RED campaign. He’s famous for using his celebrity star power to draw attention to emergency causes throughout the world and has become a regular at political events. He’s been credited with the implementation of the US’s massive and incredible AIDS program in Africa and been awarded an honorary knighthood for his efforts.

– Farahnaz Mohammed

Sources: TED – Bono’s Call to Action for Africa
Photo: Andpop

Bush_and_Bono_Pals_fighting_Poverty

As stated in his 25 April 2013 press conference, George W. Bush may consider Bono “a pal,” but he is not the only one. George H.W. Bush presented the Liberty Medal to the U2 frontman at the National Constitution Center (2007) and Laura Bush joined a meeting with G.W. Bush and Bono to discuss AIDS (2005). Bush and Bono have had a decade long relationship revolving around their mutual passion for humanitarian work in Africa.

Bono started hounding politicians in 2002 when he started his non-profit Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa (DATA). Bush and Bono had a meeting that year resulting in a 5 billion dollar aid package.  Bono also persuaded the former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill to take a 4-country tour of Africa. This marked an “historic shift in Washington’s stance on aid after years of cuts.”

However, mutual skepticism has marked the Bush and Bono relationship. Bono acknowledged that as he pushed the former president on aid issues, Bush pushed back.  Contentious issues included speed of delivery of the Millennium Challenge money and the Global Fund.

Their friendship, rooted in their shared concern for humanitarian work in Africa, kept Bono going back to Washington.  Twice in 2005 Bush and Bono met in the White House to discuss pro-poor aid. In 2006 Bush invited Bono to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast. Bono used the opportunity to talk about the ‘Jubilee’ year in respect to the Jubilee Drop in the Debt campaign. The next year former president George H.W. Bush presented the Liberty Medal to Bono. After over a decade of arguments, discussions and commitments to aid, it is not surprising Bush considers Bono “a pal.”

Katherine Zobre

Sources: Bush on Bono: ‘We became pals’ , US and Europe boost aid to poorest countries , Bono and O’Neill in Africa , Bono Visits Bush at the White House , Bono Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast
Photo: Bush and Bono 2006

Bono’s TED Talk has compacted twenty-five years of anti-poverty campaigning into a ten minute presentation for a TED conference which was held this past February. The result is a passionate call for people to stay involved and stay informed about all the great work that is and has been happening in the fight against extreme poverty.

Much of the progress that has been made does not make the news but Bono sees how people, technology, and the sharing of information is turning inequality on its head; sighting the Arab Spring as a momentous shift in history. He emphasizes how facts change minds and hearts, bring new awareness and action, bring better action, and bring change in a phenomenon he names “factivism.”

Here are some facts. Since 2000:

  • Eight million AIDS patients have been receiving retroviral drugs
  • Malaria deaths have been cut in some countries by 75%
  • Child mortality rate of children under the age of 5 is down by 2.65 million deaths per year
  • 7,256 children’s lives are saved each day

The global rate of extreme poverty has declined from 43% in 1990 to 21% in 2010.

The population of people living on less than $1.25 per day has been cut in half in the last 20 years, and the facts show that this extreme poverty can be cut to virtually zero within a generation — worldwide. Bono encourages everyone to continue their efforts for lasting progress by:

  • Telling politicians not to cut foreign aid funding
  • Join campaigns that make sure all natural resources (and their profits) are shared with the people of that country
  • Continue citizen participation by demanding transparency of government spending (anti-corruption)
  • Become a “factivist” – share the facts with others about successes and hardships within global inequality

– Mary Purcell

Source: ONE.org

Bono Advocates Factivism in the Fight Against Global Poverty
During the 2013 TED Conference in Long Beach, CA, U2 lead singer and anti-poverty activist Bono spoke about successes in the fight against global poverty and made predictions for the future.

Bono, the founder of the anti-poverty organization One and long-time ally of the world’s poor, stated that he will temporarily retire from being a rock star to become a “factivist” – one who uses facts and evidence to support activist causes. The facts are, in this case, statistics on declining global poverty rates. Bono advocates factivism as just one way that we can all work to help end global poverty.

A few of the most encouraging statistics:

– 7,256 fewer children under the age of five are dying each day.

-The number of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.25 per day) has fallen from 43 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2010.

If poverty continues to decline at the same rate, extreme poverty will be eliminated by the year 2030. However, the smaller the number gets, the more difficult it will be to reach the target of zero people living in extreme poverty.

Bono’s factivism could not come at a better time, as the efforts of those who support anti-poverty organizations, legislation, and foreign aid are clearly paying off. Significant progress has been made in the fight against extreme poverty around the world.

However, as Bono stated, there is still work to do. The decline in global poverty rates does not mean that anti-poverty activism is, or should be, coming to an end. Rather, the successes that have been achieved over the last decade are a strong motivation to work even harder to end poverty for every person.

Bono listed three ways that we can work to make poverty rates continue to decline over the next decade. The first is to actively fight government efforts to cut funding to anti-poverty organizations. Second, we should continue to support technological advances that improve the quality of life for the poorest people. And lastly, Bono urges us to fight corruption using social media networking and demand transparency in action from those in power.

To learn more poverty statistics, check out Good News in the War on Poverty. To become a factivist for the world’s poor, find out How to Get Involved in the Cause. Bono advocates factivism, and so does the Borgen Project!

Kat Henrichs
Sources: Guardian, LA Times
Photo: Twitter

brad-pitt-angelina-joli-charity-poverty

Sometimes we just want to know who is doing what to help those less fortunate, especially what celebrities are doing. Those special individuals who have tremendous wealth and are compelled to give some away in recognition of their good fortune, and in stark contrast to those who have so very little.

The site Look to the Stars lists celebrities and all their philanthropic contributions. The top 7 celebrities who are helping the world’s poor are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who together give to 27 charities and in 2006 alone gave away $8 million. Bono is next on the list, not only contributing to 14 specifically humanitarian groups but actively creating organizations, concerts, programs, strategies and even clothing to reduce poverty. Then, Bill Clinton follows with contributions to 13 organizations, but primarily focuses on the foundation he created in his name to help with humanitarian causes. Rock legend and well-known philanthropist Annie Lennox donates to 11 related charities, principally Amnesty International and Greenpeace. George Clooney not only contributes to 10 poverty groups but also created his own campaign specifically to help those suffering in Darfur – Not On Our Watch. The seventh leading celebrity actively addressing poverty issues is musician John Legend, supporting 7 related campaigns and starting his own with partner Jeffrey Sachs – the Poverty Action Tour, trying to educate and inspire U.S. university students to get involved in the cause.

Top charities being supported by celebrities to assist the world’s poor are UNICEF, Save the Children, Oxfam, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Comic Relief, Soles4Souls, Artists for Peace and Justice, ONE Campaign, Sport Relief, (RED).

Interestingly, Bono was compelled to start his charitable work after seeing The Secret Policeman’s Ball in 1979, and John Legend immediately took action after reading The End of Poverty by Earth Institute, director Dr. Jeffrey Sachs.

– Mary Purcell

Source: Look To The Stars
Photo: Hollywoodnose

you-choose-campaign-fighting-poverty-by-texting
The You Choose campaign ideals reflects the ONE group’s slogan, “Where you are born shouldn’t dictate whether you live or die.”

The You Choose campaign was launched in Johannesburg recently. According to a Nigerian musician named D’banj, who spoke at the event, the path to the eradication of poverty starts in your head, or in your mind. This idea is the driving force behind the new campaign. The next portion of the MDGs, or the UN Millennium Development Goals, is set to take place in 2015. These goals are decided upon by 189 delegates from different countries, and the program itself was adopted by the UN in the year 2000. The “goals” are solutions to global issues such as disease, health, and of course, poverty.

The You Choose campaign sets out to allow those in poverty to help influence the decision-making of which issues to focus on through the new ONE campaign. ONE, co-founded by Bono, is a 3-million member strong grassroots organization that works internationally to help fight poverty.

The You Choose campaign will make available a free SMS, or text messaging, service to all Africans who will be able to send in what they believe should be the UN Millennium Development Goals’ top priorities for the upcoming years. This will allow the UN to know what the people actually want, and not just what the UN thinks they want. This eliminates much of the guesswork in international aid for Africans.

With this initiative, Africans have the opportunity to embrace the positive side of their continent, and to unite as one people, as D’Banj noted in his speech. Other better-known figures supporting the You Choose campaign are Benni McCarthy, HHP, Lira, and Asamoah Gyan.

This project is much anticipated as, for a long time coming, Africans have been given the chance to make their voices heard.

– Corina Balsamo

Source: Sowetan Live
Photo: ONE