In just a couple of days I’ll start popping Malarone pills–a prophylactic anti-malaria medicine–for my trip to South Africa. Fortunately, I can afford the preventative medicine. George Clooney contracted malaria, for the second time, when he was in Sudan recently for the elections that we hope will lead to a free and seceded Southern Sudan. Malaria is a pretty brutal, flu-like disease, easily gotten over by those with access to medicine and who are strong and well-nourished before they get sick…like George. For so many others, it can be fatal. A mosquito-borne illness, the best passive resistance to malaria is a simple bug net for the bed, keeping mosquitoes at bay through the night. Nothing But Nets campaigns to send bed nets to malaria zones around the world. A simple $10 donation buys a net that can literally save the lives of several members of every family (in many targeted nations, several people crowd into/share a bed or mat). The United Nations facilitates distribution to the countries in Africa so nets get from airports to rural villages, in conjunction with their visits for their measles vaccination programs. Consider getting involved, and saving lives. You can do it from home, and make a significant difference in every single home to which you help bring a net.
Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’
For the New Year, George Clooney and Google have launched a crowd-sourced new way of holding the government of Sudan accountable for making war noises and human rights atrocities–Satellite Sentinel. North and South Sudan bear a heavy weight of border tension and conflict–one of the most deadly conflicts since World War II. Southern Sudan, according to some experts, is the part of the world most likely to tip into a situation of genocide.
Clooney and John Prendergast released a statement, in part: We were late to Rwanda. We were late to the Congo. We were late to Darfur. There is no time to wait. With your support, we will swiftly call the world to witness and respond. We aim to provide an ever more effective early-warning system: better, faster visual evidence and on-the-ground reporting of human rights concerns to facilitate better, faster responses.
This is why we have launched the Satellite Sentinel Project. There has never been a sustained effort to systematically monitor potential hot spots and threats to human security, in near real-time, with the aim of heading off humanitarian disaster and war crimes before they occur.
Satellite Sentinel uses the ever-advancing technology of Google Earth and satellite cameras to observe and broadcast activity in the hot zone–in the face of government denial of abuses and war crimes, now remote cameras can provide a record–and in real time, we, the rest of the world, can watch and hold them accountable. In just about a week, on January 9, the vote from Southern Sudan will decide if they will secede from the rest of the nation–and it is expected to result in tremendous violence. Take action here to sign a petition and join the movement, spread the word, and keep an eye on a war zone before war breaks out.
Did you watch the Emmys? I missed them, sitting in a car on the way home from the airport, but I have always had a l0ve/hate relationship with awards shows. Hate the endless nature of the shows with brainless filler and even more brainless skits and poorly shot musical numbers. I do, however, kinda love the gathering of folks in an industry to which we tend to feel more connected than most. We feel like we know celebrities more than we actually do since we’ve seen them in our living rooms or blown up to 40 feet tall during intimate and vulnerable moments. Flip the coin again and I kinda hate rambling speeches and music playing people off before they’ve even begun to be gracious.
I was pretty darn pleased with George Clooney‘s speech at Sunday’s awards, that I just watched online this morning. When accepting the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, the always inspiring Clooney (who created so much of our awareness–still too low–of the genocide in Darfur, also created Not On Our Watch with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub, and jumped in with his fame muscle power to initiate America: A Tribute to Heroes in the wake of 9/11, Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope in 2005, A Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and most recently, the Hope For Haiti Now telethon.
His speech was brief, irreverent, and inspiring…like the man. “It’s important to remember how much good can get done because we live in such strange times where bad behaviors suck up all the attention in the press and the people who really need the spotlight, the Haitians, the Sudanese, the people in the Gulf Coast… Pakistan, they can’t get any [press].
When the disaster happens, everybody wants to help, everybody in this room wants to help, everybody at home wants to help. The hard part is seven months later, five years later, when we’re on to a new story…honestly, we fail at that, most of the time. That’s the facts.
I fail at that.
So here’s hoping that some very bright person right here in the room or at home watching can help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heartbreaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away. That would be an impressive accomplishment. Thank you.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on people with disabilities.
A Messenger of Peace for the UN is a high-profile entertainer, sportsperson, leader of academia, or literature who is charged with making international public appearances to promote the public understanding of improving the quality of life on planet Earth. Big job, big responsibility, and hugely important.
Stevie’s no stranger to reaching out–he is a participant in so many campaigns and projects for others, from hit fund-raising songs “We Are the World” and “That’s What Friends Are For” to numerous campaigns for people with disabilities. In selecting Stevie Wonder for this designation, the Secretary-General said, “Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people. I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Stevie Wonder is a true inspiration to young people all over the world about what can be achieved despite any physical limitations.”
Of course, Stevie is in good company. Other Messengers of Peace include, among others, George Clooney (for peacekeeping), Paulo Coelho (for poverty and intercultural dialogue), Michael Douglas (for disarmament), Jane Goodall (for conservation and environmental issues), Yo-Yo Ma (for youth), Charlize Theron (for ending violence against women), and Elie Wiesel (for human rights).
Time to get busy–deadline is October 10