Bono Needs You

In my younger years, I spent days listening to U2’s dvds (and cassettes, too, admittedly) screaming, “With or without you.” Well, now U2 front man Bono is pushing for change and he has good news.

In a TED conference in February Bono said, “The number of people living in backbreaking, soul-crushing, extreme poverty has declined from 43 percent of the world’s population in 1990 to 33 percent by 2000. And then to 21 percent by 2010. Halved! It’s heart stopping! If you live on less than $1.25 a day, if you live in that kind of poverty, this is not just data. This is everything. This rapid transition is a route out of despair and into hope.” On the trajectory Bono presented, by 2030 there will be zero people living on less than $1.25 per day.

But Bono knows this trend won’t continue “with or without you.” It needs to be nurtured by governments that are eyeing cuts to charitable programs and supported by people so governments don’t make those cuts.

Bono is hoping that the spread of the facts he gives will make believers, or factivists, out of everyone. Here are a few more facts:  Eight million AIDS patients have been receiving retroviral drugs; Malaria deaths have been cut in some countries by 75 percent; the child mortality rate of kids under five is down by 2.65 million deaths a year. These are amazing statistics.

They’re part of the reason why Bono supports the ONE Campaign. I’d heard about the ONE Campaign before, but hadn’t signed up. Its website is both big and simple. Its issues are AIDS, poverty, energy poverty, hunger, and foreign aid, specifically foreign aid from America. 

Uh oh. That’s a hot button. Some people can’t believe that we are sending foreign aid to other countries when we have more people fighting hunger in America and looking for jobs.

Some of it has been politicized. Are we sending aid to the Muslim Brotherhood? I’m not talking about that kind of foreign aid. What I’m talking about is money for medical aid, food, and basic needs.

The people of our country are going through a lot, but should it cut out all aid to other countries? I don’t think so.  Should it cut some? Maybe.

I give to charities that help Americans and I give to charities that help people in other countries. I don’t think the government is the only venue to help, but it is a big one.

Bono got involved in helping others when he was invited by World Vision to go to Ethiopia in 1986. He developed an education program with his wife that used one-act plays and songs to spread information on health, hygiene, and other issues.

We’ve been a sponsor of a child in Africa through World Vision for years. It’s a Christian organization, not a political one.

Bono has supported over 30 different charities in his life. He’s become known for something more than his music, for his hope and leadership in making the world a better place. I know my readers believe in those things, too, which is why I’ve shared some things about Bono with you. He can't make the change he wants to see in the world without you.


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