There are few people in the music industry who have the presence of Bono. The Irish frontman of U2 knows no limitations when it comes to fighting poverty and hunger, and is constantly in direct contact with world leaders and policy makers in his quest to make the world a better place.
Bono was inspired to get involved in charity work after seeing The Secret Policeman’s Ball in 1979. In 1986 he helped organize Amnesty International's Conspiracy Of Hope tour alongside Sting, who was one of the Secret Policeman’s Ball performers seen by Bono, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, and Bryan Adams. He also got involved in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects which were organized by Bob Geldof – another Secret Policeman’s Ball performer, and later helped Geldof organize the 2005 Live 8 project.
His first contact with charitable causes was in 1986, prior to the Conspiracy of Hope tour, when World Vision invited him to Ethiopia. While there, Bono developed an education program with his wife, Ali, that used one-act plays and songs to spread information on health, hygiene, and other issues. He released a book of photos he took during the trip called “String Of Pearls”.
Bono followed his trip to Ethiopia with visits to Nicaragua and El Salvador with Sanctuary to draw attention to the conflicts and help children.
He wrote a song called Silver and Gold for Steve Van Zandt’s Artists Against Apartheid, and participated in Van Zandt’s anti-apartheid single Sun City.
Bono and The Edge attended the Festival Against Racism in Hamburg, Germany, in 1993. The event consisted of a concert, a press conference, a theatrical event, and a debate on the subject of anti-racism.
Bono has been a leader in the fight against poverty, and has helped to create the ONE Campaign, DATA, (RED) and EDUN, a clothing company which is striving to stimulate trade with poverty stricken countries.
He was on Forbes’ Generous Celebrity List for his work with Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA) against the spread of AIDS and for debt relief in Africa, participation in fundraising concerts like Live 8, and his donation of $50,000 to One in Four Ireland, a charity that helps survivors of sexual abuse.
Bono has received 3 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and was knighted in 2007.
Bono met with President Sarkozy of France early in 2008, to discuss issues brought to light by DATA.
“We had a feisty factual meeting about effective aid, French aid and the risks to EU credibility of broken promises to the world’s poor,” said Bono after the meeting. "The President knows the details and moves fast.
“Within the meeting the President not only promised to restore 20 million Euros cut from the Global Fund to fight AIDS TB and malaria, he also said he would send through a plan to restore promised French aid trajectories in the next few weeks.
“The President admitted it would be very very hard, but France would keep her word.”
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