"It was a trip...to Ethiopia to see what Concern was doing...where I learned what it takes to really get into the trenches," says U2's Bono, no stranger to charitable involvement. The Irish native cites Concern Worldwide, a Guidestar Gold-rated international aid agency, as the charity that made him "very proud as an Irishman of what we're doing as a country."
What exactly is Ireland doing? Ireland is one of the world's most charitable countries, so it seems fitting that Concern Worldwide was founded in the homeland of Irish co-founders John and Kay O'Loughlin-Kennedy. With the help of their own staff, volunteers, and donations, Concern has made a positive mark fighting hunger and poverty in the world for almost 50 years.
In 1968, a famine ripped through the war torn Nigerian province of Biafra and missionaries called on Irish citizens to be the first responders. A group of friends raised enough money to send one ship stocked with supplies, naming their organization 'Africa Concern.' Three months later, the 600-ton Columcille arrived off the Biafra coast. By the end of 1968, Africa Concern had raised £3.5 million, the equivalent of $70 million today.
But their work was far from done. In 1970, a cyclone hit East Pakistan and Africa Concern became Concern. Since then, they expanded their reach to over 50 countries around the world. Today, Concern employs 3,200 people in 28 countries, doing everything from disaster relief, to fighting famine, to long-term development.
Bono's initial trip to Ethiopia launched a long career of charitable aid. But Bono is only one of many Irish citizens concerned about the welfare of others. Irish President Michael D. Higgins described the work of Concern as "heroic." The late poet, Seamus Heaney, said of the organization, "[by] helping Concern we can fulfill some of the great human obligations." Concern has achieved an incredible amount from their early foundations to today, reaching more than 9 million people, often in the face of danger and the most difficult conditions.
The next step for Concern was to develop a US branch. Concern Worldwide U.S. was established in 1993 in recognition of the Irish community in America, whose relatives and friends contributed so much early in Concern's history. Today, they are a renowned international organization that sends 92 cents of every dollar directly to some of the world's poorest countries. But the staff at Concern cannot continue to combat disaster and famine alone. Just like in 1968, there is a famine in Africa today and disaster around the world. Concern has teams on the ground in locations from Syria to Haiti and everywhere in between. What they need is us.
From its 1968 origins of friends helping friends, Concern continues its mission to help those in need, to treat all struggling citizens, whatever their race, age, or background, like friends. What started with the Irish has now expanded to the world. We need to do our part and support the beautiful mission of helping others in devastating circumstances.
We need your help! Follow this link to Concern Worldwide to lend a helping hand to the urgent food crisis.
The newly passed "BTS Law" allows K-pop stars to defer mandatory military service.
This week South Korea's National Assembly passed a law that is sure to have BTS ARMY cheering them on.
Generally speaking, all South Korean men are required to spend at least 18 months enlisted in the military, with the final cut-off for entry at age 28. But the new legislation — informally referred to as "The BTS Law" — will allow K-pop stars who meet certain requirements to defer until the age of 30.
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"I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot."
Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page has come out as transgender.
Page, known for his roles in films like Juno, Whip It, and Inception, announced his coming out in a social media post today. "Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot," he wrote. "I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life."
Every year, Spotify listeners win out over devotees to other streaming platforms when they unveil their Spotify Wrapped playlists — a data driven analysis of what the year sounded like.
And while this year's personal Spotify Wrapped summaries are still loading, Spotify just released their data for their most streamed global music and podcasts of the year.
Announced the week following the Grammy nominations, Spotify Wrapped feels like vindication for artists who were snubbed by the awards committee, like The Weeknd and Halsey.
The summary also analyzed trends of when and how people were listening to content, noting increased popularity in nostalgia-themed playlists and work-from-home-themed playlists. Spotify users were understandably playing music from home more, which even caused an uptick in streaming music from gaming consoles. Listeners also tuned obsessively into wellness podcasts like never before.
After months of on and off again speculation, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky seem to be dating.
Obviously, this is good news if it's true. Can you imagine? For the coordinating outfits alone, I need it.
There have been a ton of icky white rappers over the years, but these take the cake.
On this day in 1990, Vanilla Ice's "Under Pressure" reboot "Ice, Ice Baby" debuted at No. 1 in the UK, kickstarting a Billboard run that would soon carry over to the states and invigorate a fleeting love for Vanilla Ice and his whole...vibe.
Of course, we all know how it ends. Vanilla Ice's credibility and career unraveled as quickly as it began. "Ice Ice Baby" took on a satirical identity larger than its creator, all while Robert Van Wrinkle refused to pay royalties (or even give a shout-out) to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie despite liberally sampling the track's true creators. Ice instead tried to cultivate a hollow rap identity, one where he was a hardened former-gang member from Miami and not a middle-class teen from a Texas suburb. The chorus of the song then came under fire by a black fraternity, who accused Vanilla Ice of ripping off their fraternal chant ("ice ice baby/ too cold, too cold.")