EWING, New Jersey — These celebrities are making a difference by fostering aid, giving contributions to international charities and spreading awareness worldwide.
1. Bono (Paul David Hewson)
When discussing charitable celebrities, Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, is bound to enter the conversation. The singer has been promoting international awareness for humanitarian crises since the late 1980s, starting with his visit to Ethiopia in 1986, where he and his wife used songs and short plays to promote basic information on health and hygiene.
Since then, he has visited impoverished countries around the world to spread global awareness about the conflicts in these areas.
In 2004, Bono’s history of charitable work culminated in the creation of a non-profit international advocacy organization known as ONE. The organization’s primary concern is to alleviate poverty in Africa and combat the spread of preventable diseases across the continent. ONE recognizes that to make significant advances in the fight against global poverty, individual monetary donations, while important, pale in comparison to ensuring the flow of governmental aid in afflicted areas.
ONE, in short, fights international poverty not through direct action, but by directing governments to action.
Since ONE’s conception in 2004, it has made great strides in the fight against global poverty. ONE helped pass and secure funding for the U.S.’s PEPFAR, an initiative against AIDS, and, over the past ten years, has obtained $95 billion in debt relief for poorer countries.
ONE helped pass legislation in both the EU and U.S., requiring more transparency in the gas, mining and oil industries. The organization also played a role in influencing the G8’s 2005 commitment to double its funding to fight poverty and disease in Africa.
With Bono’s history of raising awareness about global poverty, and his cofounding of ONE, it is clear that he is a consistent participant in the fight against global poverty.
2. Brangelina (Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt)
Though technically two separate people through their shared charity organization and amalgamated first names, Brangelina has consistently made clear their determination to fight international poverty throughout the course of their relationship.
In 2006 alone, according to released tax records, the couple donated over 8 million dollars to charity. Also, in 2006, they created the Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation in an effort to help provide aid and assistance to humanitarian crises worldwide.
In 2007, Jolie and Pitt donated to multiple charities involved in the Darfur region of Sudan. They also made multiple donations to Doctors without Borders, a French born international organization that provides medical relief for citizens suffering from poverty, war, epidemics or neglect. The couple recently provided aid in Haiti through Wyclef Jean’s “Clean Streets” project.
Prior to their pairing, both were already renown humanitarians and had raised awareness for the impoverished worldwide.
However, when viewing them in comparison, Jolie may be slightly more impressive. In 2001, she was recognized as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. The UNHCR is the U.N.’s agency for refugees. It is committed to helping protect refugees and solve refugee crises worldwide.
Jolie, in her position, helped educate the public on refugee situations across the globe. In 2005, Jolie was further honored by winning the Global Humanitarian Award for her work the UNCHR.
It is clear that both Pitt and Jolie have brought immeasurable benefits to the world as they remain committed not only to each other, but also to raising awareness for international humanitarian causes.
3. George Clooney
Clooney, named sexiest man alive in 1997 and 2006, is more than just a strong jaw line. In 2008, Clooney was named the U.N. Messenger of Peace, and through this position, helped raise awareness and support for the U.N.’s international peacekeeping missions.
Currently focused on raising awareness to stop the human rights atrocities and genocidal actions occurring in Sudan, Clooney has traveled with the ENOUGH project, a creation of the Center of American Progress that works to combat crimes against humanity.
With this organization, Clooney traveled to the Nuba Mountains, home of the Nuba people in the South Kordofan in Sudan, to document the atrocities perpetrated by the Sudanese government.
Aside from this work, Clooney has also been a tireless supporter of numerous aid organizations and charities worldwide.
Clooney cofounded the organization Not On Our Watch with actors including Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Brad Pitt.
The organization’s mission is to generate “lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.”
Through this organization, Clooney helps to fund the U.N. World Food Programme.
4. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos, the Spanish 28-year-old defender who plays for both Real Madrid and Spain’s national team, does not disappoint with his generous commitment to international aid.
He was recently named a UNICEF ambassador.
Ramos previously donated personal items and memorabilia to help fund UNICEF programs, and has used his international prestige as a soccer superstar to promote the needs of vulnerable children everywhere.
Ramos visited and witnessed the importance of UNICEF’s child aid programs in Senegal.
“As an ambassador for UNICEF Spain, it is an honor for me to help the initiatives of the organization on a larger scale to ensure that we strengthen the rights of children,” Ramos said after the visit. “I just had a son and I cannot imagine the pain of not being able to protect him from any circumstances that would prevent him from fully enjoying his rights.”
5. Mia Farrow
An actress and former fashion model, Mia Farrow is also known as an advocate for human rights and an activist for a number of causes. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she has visited numerous countries worldwide including Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Haiti and Uganda and recently returned from her fourth visit to the Central African Republic.
Through these visits, Farrow has consistently raised global awareness for the impoverished and has argued for increased support for the poor worldwide.
Farrow supports numerous charities and foundations including UNICEF, the ENOUGH Project and Fund4Darfur.
Her website http://www.miafarrow.org/ clearly works to increase public awareness on humanitarian crises across the globe, and also helps promote action with the “What You Can Do” button.
Clicking this button takes the viewer to a webpage that explains how action can be taken, and encourages the viewer to contact their legislators and the White House regarding humanitarian crises taking place worldwide.
All of these celebrities making a difference through their various organizations are helping to create a better world by fighting to eradicate global poverty.
– Albert Cavallaro
Sources: BBC, One.org 1, One.org 2, MiaFarrow.org, Doctors Without Borders, UNHCR, Look to the Stars 1, Look to the Stars 2, Look to the Stars 3, Today.com, The WSF, Caribbean News Now
Photo: BBC, Penki