Spreading Hope and Goodwill
Yesterday we learned that Angelina Jolie and fauxhubby Brad Pitt made their way to Bosnia to visit with refugees there on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and today we get to see photos of Angelina with some of the people she met in Bosnia … behold:
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie has called for steps to end the continuing suffering of displaced victims of the Bosnian War after hearing their harrowing tales and seeing their grim living conditions during a brief visit this week. Jolie, travelling with her partner Brad Pitt, on Monday took a break from filming to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina and highlight the plight of 113,000 Bosnians and 7,000 refugees from Croatia. These people were forced from their homes during the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and many of them are living in collective centres, often in appalling conditions. The acclaimed actress was clearly moved by the spirit – and the suffering – of the people she met and she pledged to highlight their case. Most of the people she talked to have been living far from home for well over a decade. Many of their children were born in exile and have never seen where their families come from. Jolie kicked off her first trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina by visiting a crumbling and dilapidated collective centre in the eastern town of Gorazde, which lies on the Drina River and was a UN-protected enclave throughout the 1992-1995 war. She and Pitt visited another collective centre housing displaced people in Rogatica, where the inhabitants told the couple about the daily hardships they endure, including a lack of basic services such as running water. “After seeing these people and hearing their stories, I cannot overemphasize the need to focus on the well-being of the most vulnerable individuals of the population,” Jolie said, adding that by “ending displacement and ensuring quality of life, we can help to promote progress and long-term stability.” Among these “most vulnerable individuals” were a group of internally displaced women who suffered very bad experiences during the war. While Pitt went off to speak to their menfolk, Jolie spent some private time with the women. After the meeting, an emotional Jolie said they had told her about the ordeal they had suffered before escaping to Gorazde during the war, including rape and torture. “I have my body, but it no longer has a soul,” one woman told her.
More details of Brangelina‘s visit to Bosnia continue after the jump … More »
"Dare to Dream"
Last week we learned that Madonna and her children made their way to London, England from NYC, NY for a stop-over on their eventual journey to Malawi, Africa. Madge has promised to bring her adopted children back to their homeland as frequently as possible so that they will grow up knowing where they came from. But this latest visit to Malawi served another purpose as well. Maddy was on hand to lay the first bring in the foundation of a new girls’ school that is being built in Malawi … check it out:
It was a poignant moment, but the significance of which may not be recognised by the four-year-old girl adopted by Madonna at just this moment. Mercy James joined her mother and sister Lourdes as she returned to Malawi for the ceremony to lay the first brick for the foundations of a £10million school for girls in the impoverished country. The brick had the inscription Raising Malawi Academy for Girls and the motto, Dare to Dream etched into it. ‘It has always been my dream to train women leaders who can help develop the country,’ Madonna said during the event. The ceremony, held at the site of the school in Chinkhota village, some 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the capital Lilongwe, was attended by education officials and curious villagers. ‘I grew up as a poor girl with my mother, I had no chance for good education. It is my aim to see Malawian girls get the right education,’ Madonna said.
The brick-laying ceremony was only the latest endeavor that Madonna participated in during her visit to Malawi. She was also on hand yesterday to participate in the unveiling of a much-needed fresh water pump in the district of Mchinji. At that event, she was aided by her youngest daughter Chifundo Mercy James. After the jump, check out a few photos from that event … More »
Here are a few photos of some of the celebs who made their way to the Los Angeles Mission yesterday to help serve Easter holiday dinners to the homeless people in the area. As you may recall, the LA Mission invites celebs to come help serve food on during the holidays (like last Xmas) and this weekend celebs like Haylie Duff, Gale Harold, Beverley Mitchell and Kate Linder (from The Young and the Restless) heeded the call:
The Los Angeles Mission prepared meals, Easter baskets and more early Friday morning to serve thousands of people in need for Good Friday. The mission will be handing out 1,000 Easter baskets, donated by JAKKS Pacific, to children and 2,000 pairs of shoes, donated by Etnies, to homeless adults and children. “Although the economy some people say is recovering a little bit, we’re not seeing that in the day-to-day needs,” said Herb Smith of the Los Angeles Mission. A long line that wrapped around the block was proof of the continued hardship. The mission is expecting to feed at least 3,000 people, but they’re cooking for about 4,000 just in case more show up. “Our motto is, it’s hope in a meal, so we want to make sure we give them a nice healthy meal and tell them, ‘hey,we love you, keep coming, we’re here to help you get back on your feet,’” said Chef David Thomas. Thomas said they are cooking almost 2 tons of ham, 1,500 pounds of macaroni and vegetables. “It’s a lot of work right now. We’re running back and forth to make sure it’s all done,” Thomas said. Thomas said the mission has been seeing a lot more families in the past year. “We love (the needy) here at the Los Angeles Mission,” Thomas said. “We want to make sure it’s a really comfortable meal, just like a home setting.”
This is so wonderful. It’s so great that celebs choose to give of their time during the holidays but it should not be forgotten that the people who volunteer at the LA Mission all year long are the real heroes here. There is far too much need in this world … but places like the LA Mission help fulfill those needs as much as they can — and they should be applauded. Not everyone can volunteer but everyone CAN DONATE … so if you are feeling especially generous, you can make a donation to the LA Mission HERE so that free meals like these can continue to be served to the people who really need them :)
[Photo credit: Splash News; Source]
Beautiful celebs like Kylie Minogue, Sienna Miller and Claudia Schiffer have teamed up to appear in photographs shot by Mario Testino for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign (which, is the fashion industry’s response to breast cancer that raises awareness and much-needed funds for research). Here is Kylie‘s photo along with some deets about this year’s campaign:
Four years after she beat breast cancer, Kylie Minogue is raising awareness of the disease in a stunning new campaign. The 41-year-old strips off and wears nothing but a smile and silk sheet with the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer logo across in a striking image taken by acclaimed photographer Mario Testino. Joining Minogue in the revealing new campaign … is pregnant supermodel Claudia Schiffer and actress Sienna Miller. Minogue’s involvement in the campaign comes nearly five years after she was diagnosed with the disease in May 2005. After a year of treatment, which involved a partial mastectomy to remove a malignant tumour, followed by eight months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the pop star was given the all clear in 2006 and was able to resume her Showgirl tour in November 2006. She said: ‘It means so much to me to be part of this year’s campaign for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. ‘I wholeheartedly support their efforts to raise funds for the vital work undertaken by Breakthrough Breast Cancer.’ The new images coincide with the launch of the new Target campaign, which raises money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer in partnership with various retail outlets. The campaign has raised over £10.5million for the charity since it launched in 1996. Thirty per cent of items on sale for the campaign will go directly to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Visit fashiontargetsbreastcancer.org for more information.
I love this campaign … I’m so glad to see that it’s still going strong all these years after it was launched in ’96. I can’t think of a better spokesmodel than Kylie Minogue … but Sienna Miller and Claudia Schiffer do a pretty good job as spokesmodels as well. Check out their photos after the jump … More »
Back in January we learned that David Beckham posed for a special t-shirt with his picture on it that is being sold to raise money for the UK charity Sport Relief and in February we learned that he teamed up with comic actor James Corden to film a funny sketch to air on the Sport Relief 2010 telethon on UK television. Last night, Sport Relief aired in Europe and today we get to check out the skit that Becks did with Corden. Altho Becks is obviously very bummed these days due to the Achilles tendon injury which destroyed his last chance to compete in the World Cup this year, this funny skit shows Becks in much happier times … in bed with another man:
[Last] weekend David Beckham was in floods of tears after an Achille’s tendon injury put paid to his World Cup dreams this summer. And last night, he was crying again, but this time it was purely for comedy effect as he starred in a comedy skit for Sport Relief with James Corden. The Gavin And Stacey star and sportsman shared a bath together and got emotional as they held hands in bed watching Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) getting married in Neighbours. As they watched the Australian soap, a teary Becks says: ‘Don’t you think they are amazing together those two,’ to which Corden replies: ‘I think we’re amazing together’. The duo’s me-time, in which they are seen in fluffy robes, was part of a star-studded sketch in which Corden’s Gavin And Stacey character Smithy coaches a series of top stars including Andy Murray, Tom Daley, Jenson Button and the Manchester United squad featuring Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand. And after his hard work, Smithy takes a well-earned break, for a night in with the image-conscious LA Galaxy star. Away from the prying eyes of Victoria and Nessa, the boys indulge in a spot of preening. The pair share a bath together and James Corden tends to Becks’ hair, before they share a tender moment. The comedy actor said of his meeting: ‘I just wanted to lick him. Honestly, he was unbelievably nice. We went out for dinner, we went out, we socialised, we had a great time,’ he told Heat magazine. ‘And I was looking at him thinking, “Here’s a guy who’s had some truly nasty, horrible things written about him and his family in the past and yet he’s never spoken back about it, he’s always nice and is nothing but respectful to everybody”.’ He added: ‘The impact he has on everyone he meets is amazing. He was just lovely. I do feel like I sort of fell in love with him, genuinely.
Sport Relief You know when you have a crush on someone, meet them and then you go away and think, “Oh that was weird?”. It was like that – such great fun.’
Fortunately, a clip of the skit has made its way to the Internets … trust me, it’s worth seeing. James Corden — in the guise of humor — gets to live out the fantasy of countless Beckham fans in this minute and a half clip. Check it out in full, after the jump … More »
Lending a Royal hand
Prince Harry made a public appearance at a stop over of England Ruby star Lawrence Dallaglio‘s quest to bike ride across Europe to raise money for charity. Dallaglio and others are attempting to raise £1 million for Sport Relief, a charity that funds other charities like Cancer Research, DebRA, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Help For Heroes and RPA Benevolent Fund. While Harry did not partake in the bike ride, he did show up to lend his public support of the endeavor to help raise awareness with his Royal hotness:
Prince Harry met former England rugby union captain Lawrence Dallaglio as he took a break from a 2,800km charity bike ride. The group of cyclists, led by the former rugby hero, are pedalling across Europe on a trek that aims to raise £1 million. They arrived at London’s Twickenham stadium this afternoon after completing around half of their gruelling journey. Harry, vice-patron of England Rugby Football Union, shared some banter with a group of riders when Dallaglio introduced the royal to the fundraisers. The riders are taking part in the Dallaglio Cycle Slam to raise £1 million for charity. The former rugby star and friends are riding to all the stadiums featured in the RBS Six Nations championship, having started in Rome earlier this month and also visited Paris. Money raised will be donated to Sport Relief and the newly-formed Dallaglio Foundation, whose beneficiaries are Cancer Research, DebRA, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Help For Heroes and RPA Benevolent Fund. Dallaglio said: ”It’s been an amazing journey so far. It’s great that Harry is here to support us.” A St James’ Palace spokeswoman said the prince was keen to support the fundraising efforts of Dallaglio and all those taking part in the bike ride
Even tho Harry isn’t biking himself, I still applaud him for showing up to lend his support in an attempt to raise awareness so that the bikers’ endeavor is a successful one. Sure, I’d love to see Prince Harry all decked out and squeezed into a spandex biking outfit just like anyone else but … well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be this time around. I don’t mind the young ginger prince in his nifty shirt and tie … not one bit :) Kudos and good luck to all the riders on this very important journey for charity!!
[Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin; Source]
When last we saw Angelina Jolie, she was lookin’ all lovey-dovey with her fauxhubby and babydaddy Brad Pitt at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, FL … but since then, she has gotten back to her UN Goodwill Ambassador duties and has gotten back to saving the world. Ange made her way to the Dominican Republic to visit with Haitian refugee children recuperating in hospitals there and has announced that she will be making her way to Haiti on behalf of the UN to help with the aid efforts there. Here are a couple photos of Angelina with Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernández yesterday and some deets of her visit to Haiti:
Movie star Angelina Jolie is due to arrive in quake-struck Haiti on Tuesday, the UN refugee agency said, a day after she visited Haitian children being treated in the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Oscar-winning Jolie serves as a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR spokeswoman Sybella Wilkes in Geneva confirmed Jolie’s visit to Haiti, where some 200,000 people were killed and one million left homeless in the earthquake nearly a month ago. But Wilkes declined to give details of the actress’s programme while in Haiti. On Monday Jolie toured the pediatric wing of Dario Contreras Hospital, a leading trauma hospital in the Dominican capital Santo Domingo, with its director Hector Quezada, the hospital said. Jolie was also joined by Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, the head of the UNHCR team for Haiti and the Dominican Republic and a son of Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. The actress and her partner, actor Brad Pitt, donated one million dollars to Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres) in Haiti following the January 12 quake, the worst natural disaster on record in the Americas.
Santa Angelina rides again. I will always be impressed by anyone who is willing to give so generously and unselfishly of their time to aid other people. Despite the criticism that Angelina tends to get sometimes, I commend her for working so tirelessly on behalf of other people. Not only is she willing to give of her time and energy but she is always among the first to give financially as well. Angelina Jolie‘s hard humanitarian work is something to be admired … I fully support her endeavors and hope she is able to inspire others to help others in need as well. A hero’s work is never done … I’m glad to see that Ange is still up for the task.
[Source, thanks Lidia]
Posted under: Angelina Jolie
Simon Cowell presents his own charity single
While many folks here in Hollywood participated in the 25th anniversary redux of the We Are The World recording last night, folks in the UK got their first listen this morning of another Haitian relief charity single that was recently recorded overseas. R.E.M.‘s song Everybody Hurts was re-recorded by a batch of performers — including folks like Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Kylie Minogue and more — and the song has already debuted on the UK airwaves:
A star-studded charity single for Haiti had its first airplay on Tuesday, with Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams and Susan Boyle among those teaming up to help quake victims. The version of REM’s “Everybody Hurts,” co-organised by television and music mogul Simon Cowell, will go on sale next weekend to raise funds for the hundreds of thousands affected by the January 12 quake. Other stars lending their voices to the version of REM’s 1993 REM hit include Leona Lewis, JLS, Westlife and Joe McElderry, who won the last series of Cowell’s talent show “The X Factor” Robbie Williams also reunited with his former Take That bandmates Gary Barlow and Mark Owen on the single, recorded in London and Los Angeles. Cowell, known for his acid-tongued appearances as a judge on reality TV shows “American Idol” and “The X Factor”, garnered support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown for the single. The single will be available for download from February 7 and in record shops on February 8. The government has said it will waive sales tax on purchases of the song.
I hope instead of people seeing Everybody Hurts and We Are The World: 25 Years for Haiti as competing charity singles, they will see the two songs as two opportunities to donate to Haitian relief. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of the song Everybody Hurts … mainly because of the depressing tone of the track. But, with all these big name singers lending their voices to the song, I know I can’t help but want to buy Everybody Hurts: Helping Haiti when it becomes available. After the jump, you can listen to the song in full and hear it for yourselves … More »
USA For Haiti
25 years after the original version was recorded, a new batch of stars convened at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, CA to re-record the charity anthem We Are The World in an effort to raise money and awareness for Haitian Relief. 25 years ago, We Are The World was written and recorded in an effort to raise money for African Aid so it is very fitting that the song would be remade for the people of Haiti. Here are a few photos from inside the recording studio yesterday for this momentous occasion:
Producers were putting the final touches Tuesday to a remake of “We Are The World” with stars such as Barbra Streisand, Wyclef Jean and Celine Dion lending their support for Haiti’s quake victims. It was 25 years ago that Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen joined others at the famed A&M Studios in Hollywood for an all-star recording of the same song to benefit famine relief in Africa. That effort, USA for Africa, raised 63 million dollars. This time, dozens of other A-listers — who also include Usher, Lil Wayne, Pink, Natalie Cole and the Jonas Brothers — took to the same soundstage late Monday for an hours-long recording that dragged into the night. The aim is to raise money to help survivors of the massive January 12 quake that killed 170,000 people and devastated what was already the poorest country in the Americas. No cameras were allowed inside, but the song’s producers said “We Are The World – 25 For Haiti” will air during NBC television’s coverage of the opening of the Winter Olympics on February 12. More than 70 stars — many of them hip-hop artists — lent their voice to the effort, none of them participants in the original recording. Rapper Wyclef Jean, a Haiti native, said in a statement he was “proud to be joined by so many members of the artistic community that want to support the region and have donated their time and talents to providing an effective way for the global community to get involved with helping the Haitian population.” The original tune was co-written and produced by Jackson, who died June 25 of cardiac arrest, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones. Richie and Jones produced the new version. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, who directed “Crash” and also co-wrote “Million Dollar Baby,” filmed the session for an accompanying video. “What an unbelievable group of people who have come together to give their voices, for a cause to start the healing of a people who have experienced a devastation of such magnitude,” said Richie. Among the other performers spanning a broad swath of genres and ages, from 83-year-old Tony Bennett to 15-year-old Justin Bieber, were Carlos Santana, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. “It kind of hit me that I guess this is something way more important than I could have ever imagined,” rapper Lil Wayne, who is playing Bob Dylan’s part from the original recording, told a news conference. The recording was timed just a day after the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards to ensure the maximum number of stars would attend. The contemporary version of the song and the video will be available to buy through online and traditional retailers. Producers say all proceeds will go “directly” to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
This is such a fantastic idea … what a great way to raise money for Haitian relief. It’s such a shame that Michael Jackson couldn’t be part of this redux but it was nice of Kanye West to wear one of MJ‘s jackets so that he could be there in spirit. I can’t even begin to express how much of an impact the original We Are The World had on me when it was released in 1985. I loved that song so much … I would sit by the radio and record it on cassette tapes every time it aired … I would have cassette tapes with just this song recorded on it over and over again. I’m really looking forward to hearing this version. I’m not sure why this report claims there were “no cameras” allowed in the studio because there were and a lot of photos have been made available. After the jump, check out some individual shots of some of the folks who participated in We Are The World: 25 Years for Haiti yesterday … More »
Posted under: 'We Are The World: 25 Years for Haiti', Barbra Streisand, Benji Madden, Céline Dion, Cordozar Calvin 'Snoop Dogg' Broadus, Gladys Knight, Harlow Winter Kate Richie-Madden, Harry Connick Jr., Jason Mraz, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Hudson, Joel Madden, Kanye West, Kristian Bush, Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, Nicole Richie, P!nk (Alecia Beth Moore), Quincy Jones, Toni Braxton, Usher Raymond, Vince Vaughn, Wyclef Jean
Sets a new record for public donations in a disaster relief telethon
Amazing news to pass along concerning the multi-network Hope for Haiti Now telethon that aired on Friday night, it turns out that the telethon set a new record for public money donated in a disaster relief telethon by pulling in a staggering $57 million dollars for Haitian relief. As I understand it, 100% of that $57 million (and counting, donations continue to come in and iTunes sales of the telethon performances have not been factored in yet) will go straight to the people of Haiti:
The “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, led by George Clooney and Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, has raised more than $57 million for relief to the earthquake-ravaged country, organizers said on Saturday. They called the $57 million a record for public donations in a disaster relief telethon, and said the figures were still “preliminary” as they exclude donations by corporations and large private donors and sales figures on website iTunes. Organizers said the “Hope for Haiti Now” album was the biggest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history and was currently No. 1 on iTunes’ album chart in 18 countries. The two-hour telethon featured more than 100 celebrities singing songs, telling tales of loss and survival in Haiti and taking donations by phone. It was broadcast on television networks around the world, online and on mobile carriers … Proceeds will be split among relief organizations including the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the U.N. World Food Program, Oxfam America, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. The January 12, magnitude-7 quake killed up to 200,000 people, Haitian authorities said, and left up to 3 million people hurt or homeless and clamoring for medical assistance, food and water in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
If you considering the hundreds of thousands who have been killed in Haiti, this amount is no match … but I sincerely hope the money gets used in way that will help save the lives of the massive amount of injured people left in the wake of that deadly earthquake. Yes, the country is in dire need of help in all areas but the main focus has to be on the injured people of Haiti. There has already been too much death there. It warms my heart considerably to see that altho many people are struggling financially here in the US and abroad, they still opened up their wallets in a way unmatched by any other disaster relief telethon before. $57 million is a lot of money but keep the donations coming. There are 3 million people who are seriously injured and/or left homeless! They absolutely need our help. Click HERE if you would like to donate to Hope for Haiti Now.
Posted under: 'Hope for Haiti Now'