DARFUR — While there are many celebrity humanitarians in Africa, there are few as influential as George Clooney. One of Clooney’s biggest accomplishments as a humanitarian was the creation of Not on Our Watch, a nonprofit organization created to influence intergovernmental bodies to end the crisis in Darfur.
Prior to his work in Darfur, Clooney spent a large portion of his time in Sudan working toward ending the corrupt government. From 2005 to 2017, Clooney traveled to the country seven times following the various rebellions.
Through his work with Not on Our Watch, Clooney has been able to donate 7.5 million dollars to toward projects in Darfur, Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe. The efforts in Zimbabwe have mostly focused on supporting UNICEF child protection and welfare services and Zimbabwean refugee children.
In 2010, Clooney and John Prendergast, a friend and fellow humanitarian, partnered with Google Maps to develop satellite imaging of the war in Sudan. This allowed users to view the locations in which these war crimes were being committed. In addition to seeing these locations, the maps allowed viewers to see the before and after images of locations affected by the war.
Clooney has also focused his humanitarian efforts toward ending global poverty. He is a member of the board of trustees for United Way, an organization that “improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.” In addition, he supports the One Campaign, which is devoted to fighting poverty throughout Africa.
Most recently, Clooney and his wife, Amal, created the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ). CFJ is mainly focused on aiding Syrian refugees and the development of a program to help children in Lebanon who have been out of school get back to education. Additionally, the organization has helped sponsor Syrian and Yazidi refugees who wish to resettle in the U.S.
Many celebrities who have traveled to Africa in the recent years to provide aid, but none are quite like Clooney. Through his support on the ground, as well as his fundraising efforts, Clooney has made a name for himself as one of the most influential humanitarians in Africa.
– Olivia Hayes