SEATTLE — Celebrities seem to have it all: fame, wealth and a successful career. While they may be living the dream, many of them still take time out of their busy schedules to help those in need. These are five celebrities fighting against global poverty.
One of the famous princesses of pop, Christina Aguilera enjoys branching out of the music world to lend a hand to children in need. She has been on several service trips around the world, including one to Kigali, Rwanda. She is particularly passionate about hunger alleviation initiatives for children, inspired by her own two children. Through her partnership with the World Food Programme, she helped raise almost $150 million for hunger relief. Aguilera is also the global spokesperson for Yum! Brands, a Fortune 500 company that runs the World Hunger Relief initiative.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, has been an outspoken advocate for the impoverished for decades. He is one of the most passionate celebrities fighting against global poverty, and believes that hard work can destroy extreme poverty by 2030. His work includes verbal activism as well as financial, driven by the idea that educating people about global poverty will inspire them to action. Bono has also been at the forefront of several lobbying initiatives around the world. He is a co-founder of ONE, an international, nonpartisan organization that works towards ending extreme poverty. Recently, Bono wrote an article for Time magazine acknowledging the sexist roots of poverty and urging men to take action to reduce the economic gender gap. To honor his contributions to the fight against global poverty, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2007.
A prominent figure in celebrity humanitarian work, Angelina Jolie has dedicated a significant chunk of her life to fighting global poverty. She has worked on several programs to provide aid to children in need around the globe, including the Global Action for Children Program and the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. She has donated millions of dollars to charity organizations around the world, including donating all the proceeds from her Guerlain perfume campaign. She also makes a point to visit refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East and uses her U.N. platform to advocate for their rights. Jolie is a fantastic example of what it looks like for a celebrity to use their star power to make positive change in the world.
The Victoria’s Secret supermodel is also one of the celebrities fighting against global poverty. Combining her love of baking with philanthropy, Kloss launched Karlie’s Kookies with the help of Momofuku chef Christina Tosi. The cookies are healthy alternatives to typical sugary treats, and some of the proceeds from the project go directly to FEED’s hunger initiatives. Kloss has also partnered with FEED on a variety of different projects that provide food to the impoverished.
Co-founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates has received global renown for his humanitarian work. He and his wife founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization that works towards improving access to healthcare, stimulating the economy and promoting legislation to help the poor around the world. Currently, the power couple is focusing on health initiatives, including fighting malaria and bringing birth control to impoverished areas.
With these five celebrities fighting against global poverty, the end to extreme poverty is an issue that will be known and pursued by millions more people.
– Julia McCartney