Posts

LOVE MYSELF campaignIn 2017, the internationally known K-pop boy band, BTS, started its anti-violence LOVE MYSELF campaign in partnership with UNICEF. The goal was to help promote self-esteem and self-love while ending violence against children and young people around the world. The campaign was widely successful, raising $1.4 million in its first year and $2.98 million to date.

BTS: Background

From the start of its career, BTS broke the proverbial mold for K-pop groups. BTS uses its creative freedom to give voice to its struggles and fears. In doing so, the group was also representing the same struggles and fears of the youth. In September 2017, the group released the first album of a trilogy bearing the title “Love Yourself,” with the final two albums released in 2018. The three-album cycle follows a structure posed by psychologists Erich Fromm and Joseph Magno, presenting a journey to self-love.

UNICEF Partnership

UNICEF began the #ENDviolence campaign in 2013 with a focus on creating a safer world for the youth. When BTS joined four years later with the LOVE MYSELF campaign, the group brought fans and social media presence to the original campaign. BTS helped raise money at pop-up booths at every stop of the group’s global concerts. The group also donated a portion of album sales and 100% of all profits from the LOVE MYSELF campaign merchandise will go toward #ENDviolence. The funds raised through the LOVE MYSELF campaign are used to protect and support children and teens affected by domestic violence, school-related violence and sexual violence. The funds are also used to empower local communities to take a stand and prevent violence.

COVID-19 and a Renewal of Support

The COVID-19 pandemic caused hardships for many. With school closures, young people have been significantly affected. Furthermore, with decreased access to services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a renewed focus has fallen on the mental and psychological well-being of children or young adults enduring any kind of violence, neglect or bullying.

In response, BTS renewed a commitment to the LOVE MYSELF campaign in March 2021, signing on for two more years. This includes expanding the ongoing LOVE MYSELF campaign, supporting UNICEF with $500,000 per year and a separate $1 million donation to UNICEF by 2022. The renewal also raised the campaign to a global partnership, expanding from just UNICEF Korea to UNICEF at large to better help prevent violence against youth across the globe.

As UNICEF supporters, BTS spoke directly to heads of states and other world leaders at a United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York. The group released an exclusive music video to support the campaign and encourage love and kindness online and in real life.

Prioritizing Self-Love and Ending violence

The LOVE MYSELF campaign is close to the hearts of the members of BTS. The core of the campaign’s message is similar to that of the group’s music. BTS wants fans to prioritize self-love and anti-violence. The group’s renewal of support for the LOVE MYSELF campaign with UNICEF shows a continued commitment to protect and empower children and young people around the world.

Courtney Roe
Photo: Flickr

Celebrities Working With UNICEF
The United Nations created the United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in December 1946. It helped children in countries that WW2 impacted. In 1950, UNICEF began advocating for both children’s and women’s rights. It also works toward the protection, safety and health of developing countries. In 1953, UNICEF shortened its name to The United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF works in over 190 countries to provide vaccines, safe water, sanitation, education and skill-building. UNICEF has a program for celebrities and public figures called UNICEF Ambassadors. Ambassadors use their fame and platform to fundraise and raise awareness for children’s rights and advocacy. Each ambassador has its own motive and mission. Here are five celebrities working with UNICEF.

Selena Gomez

American actress and singer Selena Gomez began working with UNICEF in 2009. Gomez started as a “trick or treat UNICEF” nation’s spokesperson in 2010, helping raise $4 million. In 2011, Gomez took part in UNICEF’s 12 Days for UNICEF. This was a blog campaign focused on “the gift of giving back.” Its goal was to raise funds and awareness about the objectives of UNICEF. She also joined UNICEF’s Tap Project by bottling tap water from her home. Additionally, she posted public service announcements on social media for UNICEF’s clean water program.

Gomez took to Facebook and Twitter to promote “Sound The Alarm” in 2012. “Sound The Alarm” is an international campaign that raised funds for the child nutrition crisis in the Sahel Region of Africa. Later that year, she learned about the importance of social media in mobilizing and educating young people and made a public service announcement encouraging everyone to donate $10 via text to the emergency relief efforts campaign for the Sahel Region of Africa. Gomez also worked with and supported George Harrison’s FUND for UNICEF month of giving in 2011, held a charity concert benefiting UNICEF that raised over $200,000 in 2012 and visited Chile, Gana and Nepal with UNICEF.

Amelie Zibler

Amelie Zibler is just one of the many celebrities working with UNICEF. Zibler is famous for being a social media influencer on Tik Tok and Instagram and is a UNICEF Young Ambassador. Christina Zibler introduced Amelie, her daughter, to the NGO. Christina Zibler is a UNICEF Ambassador and CEO of “Jouer Cosmetics.” She uses her platform to raise awareness of current events and Middle Eastern politics. Zibler is just beginning her work with UNICEF.

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom’s involvement with UNICEF dates back to 2007. He became a Goodwill Ambassador in 2009 when Bloom became highly involved with UNICEF. Bloom traveled to Mozambique with UNICEF in 2019 to meet with kids who experienced displacement from Cyclone Idai.

In 2018, Bloom traveled to Bangladesh with UNICEF to film the Netflix series “Tales by Light,” a documentary following children working in slums. Boko Haram violence forced hundreds of thousands of children out of their homes. Bloom traveled to South East Niger in 2017 to meet with the children. In 2016, Bloom went with UNICEF to Ukraine to increase awareness about the global education crisis for children in emergencies. Bloom also went with UNICEF to Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees in 2014. Additionally, Bloom traveled to Nepal in 2007 and 2008 to view water and sanitation projects.

Sofia Carson

UNICEF recently announced its newest national ambassador, Sofia Carson, in October 2020. Carson is a singer, activist and actress. She has worked with UNICEF since 2017. She specifically focuses on girls’ empowerment and protection by using her social media platform. Her platform educates her followers and spreads awareness regarding protecting young women. In 2019, Carson urged Congress to pass the Keeping Girls in School Act, which passed in The House of Representatives in 2020. Carson traveled with UNICEF to Recife, Brazil in 2019 to meet with teenagers and children to see UNICEF’s work, mission and dedication in person.

BTS

Korean boy band BTS and its label Big Hit Entertainment partnered with UNICEF in 2017 by creating the LOVE MYSELF campaign. The campaign aimed to end global sexual, domestic and school violence for children and teenagers. BTS also created a LOVE MYSELF fundraiser that raised $2.9 million in addition to putting out a song called “Answer: Love Myself.” BTS continues to spread the message of sharing love and making the world a better and safer place for all children and teenagers. In March 2021, BTS renewed its “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF and donated $1 million to continue to end global violence and promote self-love.

Celebrities and public figures have raised millions of dollars for UNICEF. They used their large social media platforms to raise awareness. Besides these five, there are many more celebrities working with UNICEF.

– Lauren Peacock
Photo: Flickr

Band Members from BTS who renewed LOVE MYSELF campaignGrammy-nominated, South Korean group, BTS recently announced the renewal of their partnership with UNICEF and their LOVE MYSELF campaign, which was first introduced on November 1, 2017. Originally, BTS used the partnership to sponsor UNICEF’s #ENDViolence campaign that sought to ensure safety for children everywhere in the world. UNICEF and BTS raised awareness for the recurrent issues of sexual assault and domestic violence for teens and children through the #ENDViolence and BTS’s LOVE MYSELF campaign.

Working with UNICEF

As the years went by, BTS hosted UNICEF booths around the world to educate the public about violence against children. The group also held a world tour under the campaign’s name. Their booth in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium was especially impactful and gathered the largest crowd in UNICEF’s event history. This places in perspective BTS’s critical role in assisting UNICEF in its goal of protecting children’s rights, especially children in poverty, across the world. BTS even took their influence to the United Nations, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York where they shared their own experiences and the importance of self-love, stating, “no matter who you are, where you are from, your skin color, gender identity: speak yourself.”

Renewing the UNICEF Partnership

As of March 2021, through an announcement video on their Youtube channel, BTS renewed their commitment to the cause, donating $1 million to UNICEF, as well as profits from the LOVE MYSELF campaign’s merchandise and a portion of the proceeds from their album sales of the same name. Since 2017, this partnership has raised $2.98 million for UNICEF’s global mission and the hashtag #BTSLoveMyself has been mentioned more than 11,800,000 times, showing significant impact and success in spreading awareness.

In their announcement video, the BTS members shared the importance of their campaign and partnership, making it clear they value the UNICEF partnership and the issues the humanitarian organization stands for. V, one of the beloved band members, said “LOVE MYSELF starts with a message to love yourself, but ultimately it’s a message of loving each other and loving everyone.” J-hope added his heartfelt comment, “If our campaign just gives people the chance to think about how they can love themselves and share love to others, I think that will have a great impact.”

LOVE MYSELF Campaign Amid COVID-19

With COVID-19 still affecting our daily lives, the LOVE MYSELF campaign’s renewal is especially significant. COVID-19 has a negative impact on children across the world. Approximately 168 million schoolchildren were home as a result of school closures, with one in three being unable to access remote learning through the pandemic. Furthermore, in November 2020, UNICEF estimated that the number of children living in poverty-stricken households would increase by 140 million by the end of 2020. Supportive and successful campaigns like LOVE MYSELF are crucial during these challenging times.

As UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “COVID-19 is taking an enormous toll on all our lives and emotional well-being… Through their music and messages, BTS has said to their global audience, ‘You are not alone. This is a difficult time for all of us. And together, with love and kindness, we will get through it.’”

– Juan Vargas
Photo: Flickr

KPOP
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, is a Korean boy band consisting of 7 members. Their style of music, popularly known as KPOP, or Korean Pop music has taken off. Debuting in 2013, BTS immediately gained a faithful and dedicated fanbase that they call ARMY. As BTS grew in popularity, their acts of charity became more frequent. With their popularity and influence,  ARMY soon followed in the KPOP group’s philanthropic footsteps.

Hope Delivery Food Bank

In South Korea, nearly 50% of the elderly population is living in poverty. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that in 2015, 45.7% of South Koreans over the age of 65 lived in poverty. There is also a large number of children lacking necessities. Poverty and Social Exclusion reported that 13.5% of children in South Korea are living in poverty. To combat these numbers and give back to the community, BTS teamed up with Hope Delivery — a program under Love Food Bank that works to help the elderly and children in poverty by delivering food for them.

Jimin’s Busan School Donation

In April 2019, it was revealed that Jimin, a member of BTS, made a large donation to Busan’s office of education. Notably, the donation of 100 million won equates to about $84,000. Jimin has also made other generous donations. For example, he also donated to his alma mater, Busan High School of Arts, in February 2020. With his donation, he was able to provide 1,200 students with new desks and chairs.

Jin’s UNICEF Honors Club

In 2019, it was announced by UNICEF Korea that Jin became a member of UNICEF Honors Club. Jin had become a member by donating more than 100 million won. He had begun secretly donating in May 2018 and revealed he became a member of the UNICEF Honors Club to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

Suga’s Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association

To fight the spread of COVID-19, Suga decided to donate 100 million won to the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association. Suga initiated this donation after the cancellation of BTS’s tour, Map of the Soul. Many fans and would-be concert goers drew inspiration from Suga’s donation and followed suit. The outpour of donations from ARMY accumulated about 400 million won over a weekend in March 2020. Fans’ total donation amount may be much higher since not every donation went under BTS or ARMY.

J-Hope’s ChildFund Korea’s Green Noble Club

During August 2020, it was revealed that J-Hope, a member of ChildFund Korea’s Green Noble Club, donated 100 million won. The donation helped vulnerable children, especially those who are facing financial insecurities due to COVID-19. McKinsey & Company conducted a report revolving around the financial impact of COVID-19 on Asian countries. When focusing on the decrease in income in households, the report reveals that South Koreans have great concern. With this level of concern, J-Hope’s donation is likely to alleviate the stress among households.

ARMY Singapore Foodbank Charity

In honor of BTS’s 6th anniversary, fans have come together to do acts of charity. A Twitter handle by the name @btsborahaeteam had revealed on March 6, 2019, that a donation project has been formed. The purpose of the donation was to raise funds through Food Bank SG and distribute it to different charities and food kitchens in Singapore. On June 7, 2019, the fundraiser came to an end and more than $2,000 was raised. With the money raised, people put together 136 bundles of food and distributed it in Bedok North. In the name of KPOP and BTS, ARMY has come together and made a significant, financial impact.

Ashleigh Jimenez
Photo: Flickr

#ENDviolence Campaign
There is a powerful positive correlation between poverty and violence. Working to address this problem is BTS, a popular K-pop boy band. By partnering with UNICEF, BTS has supported the #ENDviolence campaign, which focuses on ending violence against children and teens worldwide.

The Correlation Between Poverty and Violence

One study revealed that children who grew up in poverty are “seven times more likely to harm themselves and be involved in violent crimes as young adults.” To reach this conclusion, the study analyzed 21,267 patients who had self-harm incidents and 23,724 individuals who were accused of violent crime between the ages of 15 and 33.

The results revealed that “children who remained in the top 20% of wealthiest families over their first 15 years of life were the least likely to harm themselves or commit a violent crime between the ages of 15 and 33.” On the other hand, children from families who lived in the least wealthy fifth of society were 13 times more likely to commit crimes and seven times more likely to hurt themselves as young adults.

Numerous research demonstrates the causes of self-harm and abusive behaviors of children, one of which is poverty. Overall, exposure to poverty has a significant impact on violent behaviors. Reducing poverty will therefore lead to a reduction in violent actions.

K-Pop Group BTS’ Support for UNICEF

BTS, one of the most popular K-pop boy groups, has raised approximately $1.4 million for the UNICEF #ENDviolence campaign. On June 22, 2020, the K-pop superstars won the 2020 UNICEF Inspire Award in the Integrated Campaigns and Events category.

The UNICEF Inspire Awards go to the most influential UNICEF campaigns. For this year, there were about 100 campaigns from 50 countries competing for the awards. BTS won this year’s Inspire Award because of the group’s wide range of work to promote children’s rights, which includes fundraising and raising awareness about the issue.

#ENDviolence Campaign

UNICEF launched the #ENDviolence campaign, also known as the Love Myself campaign, in 2017 to fight “against violence toward children and teens around the world.” Through the #ENDviolence campaign, UNICEF works actively to rebuild children’s lives. Some of the organization’s work includes bringing civilian life back to child soldiers and supporting shelters for street kids. UNICEF also protects trafficked children by training and funding a child protection team.

After BTS received the UNICEF Inspire Award, the secretary-general of UNICEF Korea, Lee Ki-Cheol, said, “BTS’ message that you need to love yourself in order to be able to love others is creating positive transformation all over the world. I believe this award is the result of BTS’ positive influence as they give children and youth across the Earth, both courage and comfort.”

BTS’ Global Philanthropy

BTS has not only helped the #ENDviolence campaign but has also contributed to other social and philanthropic campaigns. One member of the group, J-Hope, donated 100 million won ($84,407) to support underprivileged children. The donation went to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation. This organization supports children in need and helps students achieve their dreams. Along with the donation, J-Hope said: “Amongst the disadvantaged children that are victims of the various societal problems, I hope that these funds will be well-delivered to those that are facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus.” J-Hope has been consistently making these generous donations so that the total amount of his donations so far reached 450 million won ($380,530). It’s safe to say that he along with his fellow BTS members are using their position to help people around the world.

Alison Choi
Photo: Flickr