“I’m going to do my part. Will you do yours?” That was Rachael Han, a young ONE member from Washington DC, speaking from high up in the atrium of the World Bank to an audience of a thousand below her.
The occasion was the annual meeting of the world’s finance ministers and bankers – when many of the big decisions about development get made. It’s important but it’s not usually much fun. This was different. It had passionate speeches and loud music, and plenty of ONE t-shirts mingled with the Washington suits.
The idea was to get people who could make some noise inside the building. Bringing in artists from around the world was inspired. Nigeria’s D’Banj, Vixx, a great Korean band, Korean singer-songwriter Roy Kim, and Fally Ipupa from Congo all played to entertain the crowd. The message was simple: end poverty.
“If we’re going to eradicate poverty, we have to eradicate gender inequality!” said D’banj.
“This is the only event I’ve been to all week where I was older than the rest of the crowd,” said one young World Banker.
The attendance was stellar: Jim Yong Kim, President World Bank Group, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, Michael Elliott, CEO, The ONE Campaign, Justin Forsyth, CEO, Save the Children UK all spoke. Julie Gichuru, Journalist and Anchor, Citizen TV was a great emcee.
ONE members Thomas Nguyen, Tina Chen, Wendy Cho and Lucas Cochran made the journey from VCU in Richmond, VA to attend.
Michael Elliott, ONE’s CEO, wrapped things up with a call for a BFD – a Big Funding Deal, to deliver the money needed to end extreme poverty. “You guys can do it – the energy you’ve got tonight!”