Latest posts by George Kihara (see all)
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Sponsored by Gucci, Chime for Change took place in London on Saturday (the first day of June, so perfect timing!). The event was televised around the world. Leading up to the concert, people had the opportunity to donate money to partner organizations such as UNICEF, Girl Up and the Global Fund for Women—whose missions include advocating for women and girls at heart, with girls’ education as a central cause for the concert. I didn’t get a change to watch it live but have been catching up throughout the week via news posts and video clips.
While I am in love with the idea of a concert that brings attention to the need for educating girls everywhere, especially in developing countries, I was not exactly impressed. For example, watch this Youtube video (or at least whatever you have time for, as it is rather long), during which Beyonce blows the concert out of the water:
As the headliner of Chime for Change, she sure dazzled the crowd. (And who doesn’t love “Who Run The World? (Girls).” So fitting—and great background music for blog post writing!) This concert was full of bright lights, of glitz and glamour. At the beginning of her first song, Beyonce told the crowd, “I am Beyonce Knowles, and I chime for change.” But how does she chime for change, really, besides working her magic in front of a crowd at a concert?
I would like to see celebrities not just talk the talk (or, rather, sing the song), but walk the walk. Take time in between concert tours to volunteer at a school that is making strides in educating girls. Or, donate a portion of your wealth to the hospitals, schools and other institutions that need money the most in this world so that women and girls can leverage their standing in their communities and be safe, healthy, educated and happy. Who knows, celebs like Beyonce could be doing these things already.
Don’t get me wrong—I am so happy this concert took place. Chime for Change truly made headway in bettering the lives of women and girls through donations. The concert got an amazing $4.3 million in ticket sales, which will all go to women’s and girls’ empowerment programs. Plus, through the online crowdfunding platform Catapult, which focuses on projects specifically around women’s and girls’ issues, over $125,000 has been raised for partner orgs, and the fundraising period is not even over. Every donation matters.
But my hope is for those who have enough money to buy the world to pause for a moment and see for themselves how they can affect a woman’s life or a girl’s life across the globe, where Chime for Change was not blasting through the television and had no way of doing so.