Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Necklaces for Invisible Children

Posted: December 13, 2010 by akl5086 in Africa, Charity, Children

In light of her recent trip to Uganda, celeb Kristen Bell designed a necklace in which she asks for $45 donations for Invisible Children, a charity dedicated to preventing the abduction of children and creation of child-soldiers.

A large rebel force led by Joseph Kony in Uganda has been abducting children since 1986 and has thus far abducted over 30,000 children.

The donations will go to building new schools and provide education to the area’s war-effected children. Bell claims that her good friend runs the charity and made a point to say that the donations are going to a good place and are being used wisely.

Do you think Bell makes a point to say this because she understands how much people now a days question celebrity involvement with philanthropy?

What are your thoughts?!

 

 

Beacon of Hope or Symbol of Celanthropy?

Posted: December 13, 2010 by akl5086 in Charity, Children, Uncategorized

On Thursday, Dec. 9 crowds gathered to watch actress and UNICEF supporter Monique Coleman light the UNICEF Snowflake on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, while singer Katharine McPhee sang her own renditions of popular Christmas tunes.

The snowflake is supposed to act as a beacon of hope, peace and compassion for children worldwide during the holiday season, but what do you think?

 

Determined or Destined for Failure?

Posted: December 6, 2010 by akl5086 in Africa, AIDs, Children, Uncategorized

As of Sunday night, the total amount raised for Alicia Keys‘ “Digital Death” Campaign was roughly $296,000. Now, five days into the campaign, celebs must be facing withdrawal.

I think the fact that donations haven’t been rolling in like they were expected to and the fact that celebs are still going relatively strong with the campaign shows determination, but what do you think?

Share your opinions or vote here!

Still “Dead”

Posted: December 4, 2010 by akl5086 in Africa, AIDs, Charity, Children

It has been four days since Alicia Keys’ digital death campaign for her charity Keep A Child Alive began. The campaign involved popular celebrities signing off their Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts until $1 million was raised to help those affected by AIDS in Africa and India. As of Friday evening, the campaign was shy of its total by $799,326. It has thus far generated an average of $66,891 per day.

So four days into the campaign celebs are still “dead.” However, this is not quite the case for all of them. Twitter updates about the campaign have been posted to celeb accounts including Keys, Swizz Beats, Khloe Kardashian, Jay Sean and Janelle Monae.

The campaign has been criticized for two reason. First, the minimum donation is $10, gossip columns have reported that fans would be more willing to give up the few dollars they spend on coffee rather than the $10 they could spend on the celebs’ new CD on iTunes, which I think is an excellent point. Asking for a minimum of $10 in this current economy is a bit much, people would be much more willing to donate a few dollars. The second reason for criticism stems  from the overall concept of the campaign, with celebs out of the social media game, awareness and reach of the campaign is limited. It was suggested that celebs should have “threatened” to die a digital death one by one until the $1 million was raised, this way they could continuously promote the campaign on their accounts.

I think the second point of criticism speaks highly of communication in current society. In cutting off their communications with fans and the world via their most valuable source of communication, they have limited their outreach. I think essentially people who follow these celebrities regularly have more than less become accustomed to the lack of constant updates rather than become more motivated to donate to get their beloved celebs back in the social networking circle.

At this rate, the campaign is said to last for 11 more days unless something drastic happens in which fans become more motivated to donate money.

Updates to come!

In light of my recent posts, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on an area where celebrity involvement has turned out to be helpful. But first, I’ll start off with a question: have you ever heard of Livestrong?

Of course you have. Now: have you ever heard of Stillerstrong (and not this isn’t about the Pittsburgh “Stillers”)?

My guess is, probably not. But it is something you should be aware of. Its a comical take on the Livestrong foundation created by none other than Ben Stiller — but its no joke. It helps build schools in Haiti as part of the Haitian School Initiative. Recently, Stiller’s charity has partnered with Artists for Peace and Justice to continue their work in Port-Au-Prince.

 

As you can see, Stillerstrong packs quite a punch when it comes to star power. Not only does Ben Stiller support it, but so does former president and humanitarian Bill Clinton! It built its first school in Cerevrine, Haiti in 2009 and the initiative really took off in 2010 after the earthquake.

This is the kind of charity our celebrities need to be involved with — helping build schools and hospitals for those who don’t have them, have been displaced, or need them to be improved desperately. It isn’t ruining a local economy, but rather building up a future one through the youngest generation. Everyone should show their support to Stillerstrong like they did to Lance in the early 2000’s…its a great cause to get behind!

In this video clip posted November 8, 2010, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband Peter Sarsgaard take action in Alibaug, India.  By opening an SOS Children’s Village, Maggie and Peter are helping children who have no parents or who can’t live with their parents anymore. According to Look to the Stars, SOS Children’s Village is a non-governmental and non-denominational social development organisation that provides family-based care to these children.

Maggie and Peter are global ambassadors for SOS Children’s Village and its parter Esprit (the lifestyle brand).  I’m very proud that this dynamic duo takes their job seriously as global ambassadors. It’s one thing to fight for a cause. It’s another thing to go out to India to support the cause and help in any way you can.
“Protecting children’s rights is a universal responsibility that requires global commitment from us all,” said Gyllenhaal. “It’s a privilege for Peter and I to join hands with Esprit and promote the remarkable work of SOS Children’s Villages, which for the past sixty years has continued to give children worldwide love, security, and the nurturing environment that only a family can provide.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Colombian singer Shakira has agreed to tape  a Christmas television ad for a Spanish sparkling wine under the conditions that the proceeds go to her Colombian-based charity, Pies Descalzos.

In addition to paying Shakira’s foundation $660,000, Freixenet, the company behind the ad, will also produce a video for Shakira’s “Sale el sol” and make a documentary about her charity. The money will be used to build a school in Haiti and another in Colombia.

As a child growing up in Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira made a promise that one day she would help the children she often saw living on the city’s streets. At the age of 18, Shakira fulfilled that promise. In 1995, she launched  her Pies Descalzos Foundation,  which  is dedicated to improving education, nutrition, and the lives of the thousands of  children living in dangerous conditions because of the violent internal conflict in Colombia.

How is Shakira able to do this work?

Shakira asked former Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Education María Emma Mejía to preside over the Foundation in 2003. She wanted Mejía to help expand its works across Colombia. The first school was then built  in Quibdó, which is a city along the Pacific coast. the forced forced displacement rates in Quibdó  are 35%. Since then, Pies Descalzos Foundation has gone on to open six additional schools.

In 2008, Shakira founded the US-based Barefoot Foundation. It is a separate entity from Pies Descaloz, however the two organizations work close together to support the same universal mission. The Barefoot Foundation supports universal education in developing countries.

I think Shakira’s extensive efforts to improve the education, nutrition, and lives of the children in her homeland show a true passion for her work and the goodwill of Colombia. Her success thus far demonstrates a drive in the superstar. I think often we see people donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to global charities, however, we don’t see exactly where the funding is going and that makes us question whether the money is in fact being put to proper use rather than solely creating a good reputation for the celebrity.

With the groundbreaking work Shakira has thus far achieved, I applaud her with her and wish her success with the building of her new schools in Haiti and Colombia.