Monday, October 16, 2006

We're Not Asking For Your Money...

Speaking of the Nobel Peace Prize, it was rumored that U2 rock star Paul Hewson (aka, Bono) was on the list of candidates for the award. To many activists fighting world poverty, Bono is akin to a prophet. Others just assume he's another hypocritical star pushing a liberal agenda. There's a lot of area between prophet and hypocrite, and most sources, liberal or conservative, geek or chic, agree that he's a sincere guy with a burning passion to save the world, or at least to end world poverty.

We're not asking for your money. We're asking for your voice. Thus ends a commercial from the ONE Campaign, whose tagline is The campaign to make poverty history. Bono is the pre-eminent star among many stars who support ONE unified, non-partisan, non-sectarian coalition of 2 million people and over 70 non-profit, advocacy and humanitarian organizations.

To some people with whom I've spoken, celebrity endorsers are a big turnoff. Let's face it, many celebrities are not the world's best role models. However, they draw publicity, which helps more people to learn about poverty, which helps to save and improve more lives. But if you're without sin, by all means, please go ahead and throw some stones at the celebrities.

To continue with more info about ONE from their web site...

ONE aims to bring the voices of every American together with ONE message and ONE purpose: to make poverty history.

ONE was founded by 11 of America's most well-known and respected aid groups: Bread for the World, CARE, DATA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children US, World Concern, and World Vision.

ONE believes that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the world's poorest countries. ONE also calls for debt cancellation, trade reform and anti-corruption measures in a comprehensive package to help Africa and the poorest nations beat AIDS and extreme poverty.

ONE percent more of the US federal budget would help save millions of lives and be a major commitment towards achieving the internationally agreed upon Millennium Development Goals. If it is delivered, we would achieve 0.35% of national wealth going to Official Development Assistance - half way to the international commitment to achieve 0.7%. Longer term, after demonstrating the money is efficiently and ethically used, the goal is for the US to continue to increase effective assistance until it meets the international commitment to give 0.7% of national wealth. This is an appropriate goal for ten years time, or 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Goals.

Effective and ethical international aid is national security, not charity. Poverty in the developing world is a serious global security threat, a fact acknowledged by the U.S. when President Bush included development as a priority area of his National Security Strategy.

ONE does not accept donations. Instead, we hope that you'll take action with ONE by contacting Congress, the President and other elected officials and ask them to do even more to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. We encourage you to sign the ONE declaration and help by spreading the word about the ONE Campaign by talking about it with your friends, family and co-workers.

If you still want to make a donation, most of our ONE partner organizations work in the world's poorest countries and may have opportunities for your donations.

In case you're wondering, I am ONE of the 2+ million people who has signed the declaration. I don't consider myself to be an activist, so I'm uncertain to what degree I'll get out at the grassroots level. However, I am a member of the local Denver Yahoo Group and use that forum to chat with others who share in the ONE purpose to make poverty history. I'm writing to friends, relatives, and anyone else who might read this blog to take action against poverty. Heck, I'll even put a banner ad at the bottom of my web site. Maybe I am an activist after all...

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