Famine: What the $%&#?

Correction: An earlier version of this blog post the author wrote that “our celebrity supporters shout out one four letter word that the majority of viewers will find offensive”. This was unintentionally misleading as not everyone featured in the PSA actually used this word. The post below has been corrected for accuracy:

ONE has been campaigning fiercely to wake the world up to the terrible tragedy happening in the Horn of Africa. More than 30,000 children have died in just three months, and honestly I can hardly wrap my mind and heart around it. Yet despite this, all I see is inaction. News coverage of the crisis is intermittent and governments around the world have yet to fill the $650 million funding gap needed to provide emergency services. And perhaps worst of all, none of this had to happen in the first place.

Here’s a fact worth knowing: drought is inevitable, but famine is not. Amazing. We know how to prevent famine. People need to know that famine is not just “something that happens in Africa,” and that we not only need to address the immediate needs of families literally starving to death, but also ensure that it never happens again. Break the cycle of famine? Sounds good to me.

That’s why ONE is launching our new PSA “The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity,” which you can watch above. Directed by filmmaker Jesse Dylan, this PSA brings together a stunning (and unlikely) group including: ONE’s co-founder and U2 lead singer Bono, Somali-born singer and poet K’naan, FOX news host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media magnate Arianna Huffington, former first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush, George Clooney, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, Christy Turlington Burns, Kristin Davis, Idris Elba, Colin Farrell, Annie Lennox, Joe Jonas, Liya Kebede, Justin Long, Rob Lowe, Ewan McGregor and Evan Rachel Wood. These incredible voices from the worlds of entertainment, media and politics all came together to shine a bright light on this largely ignored tragedy and spur all of us to do something about it. Now more than ever is the time to do just that.

I know the tone is a bit rough for ONE — that’s no accident. If it feels like a punch in the face, then good — mission accomplished. It’s time for a wakeup call and here’s the alarm. Love it? Great. Hate it? OK. Just don’t ignore it.

So what can you do? Glad you asked! First, you can make sure to share the above video with all of your social networks (e.g. Facebook likes, Twitter followers, emails to family and friends, etc.). Second, you can sign our petition to tell US and world leaders to support programs that will help break the cycle of famine for good and help us reach the goal of 500,000 signatories. And if you want, you can also support short term solutions by making a donation to organizations fighting famine on the ground in the Horn of Africa (click here to learn more).

Sure, the challenge of fighting famine seems daunting – that against all odds and every sense of reasonableness, we can raise our voices together to fight famine and its causes. But if I’ve learned anything in my time at ONE, it’s how truly powerful we are together. I’ve seen it over and over again. So one more improbable, difficult win in the fight to help the poorest on the planet? Just another day at the office.

Creating this PSA was a labor of love that started from an internal spark and grew into a powerful idea. I’m proud of it and everyone I work with here at ONE. And I can only hope you’ll feel that pride, too.