SEATTLE, Washington — In Africa, one in three people live below the poverty line. This is nearly 422 million people living in scarcity, representing more than 70% of the world’s poor. Many of these Africans typically live on little more than $1.90 a day. To fight poverty in Africa, organizations and individuals worldwide are providing resources, financial relief and necessities. Among influential personalities, celebrities are using their platform to bring awareness to this humanitarian issue and fight global poverty. The celebrities fighting poverty in Africa have either provided essential funding to humanitarian organizations on the ground or have founded nonprofit foundations to aid vulnerable communities in seeking a better quality of life.
5 Celebrities Fighting Poverty in Africa
- Alicia Keys – Named the second-most charitable celebrity in 2010, Keys continues to donate to grassroots organizations that fight epidemics such as HIV/AIDS in Africa. Keys co-founded the nonprofit Keep a Child Alive in 2003 that is “committed to empowering children and young people with the necessary resources, confidence and opportunities to reach their full potential and live healthier, happier lives.” The nonprofit focuses on aiding children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS and has local partners in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India.
- Oprah – In 2007, Oprah established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, aiming to help low-income girls receive an education. The school strives “to raise future leaders who can navigate a variety of social and cultural contexts and remain committed to the development of South Africa and the African continent.” This independent boarding school helps girls achieve their professional and personal goals by providing them with the necessary skills to contribute to society and establish financial independence.
- Rihanna – Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which contributes to educational and emergency response programs globally while advocating for the improvement of the “quality of life for young people everywhere.” Recently, the singer’s foundation donated over $5 million to organizations providing COVID-19 relief efforts on the ground. These organizations include the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the International Rescue Committee. The donation, among other COVID-19 relief efforts, will supply vulnerable nations with nutritional food, personal protective equipment and essential respiratory supplies.
- Don Cheadle – The academy-award nominated actor, is one of the Enough Project’s leading supporters, a nonprofit working to end genocide and “crimes against humanity.” In 2007, Cheadle co-hosted the annual poker tournament Ante Up for Africa in Las Vegas. Proceeds of the event went to Enough and the International Rescue Committee to raise awareness on humanitarian crises in impoverished countries and provide funds for the rebuilding of vulnerable communities.
- Waje – Aituaje Iruobe, also known as Waje, is a Nigerian singer who created Waje’s Safe House in 2012 to support non-governmental organizations struggling to obtain funding to achieve their laudable goals. Waje’s Safe House’s major project, the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), aims to provide children with the means to continue their education in Makoko, a slum area in Lagos, Nigeria.
Africa may still struggle with systemic poverty, but with efforts from humanitarian organizations and influential people, the nation is one step closer to alleviating poverty. With the help of these celebrities’ philanthropic actions, the world is more aware of the plight of African citizens living in poverty and encouraged to respond.
– Danielle Beatty