Monday, January 19, 2009

John Legend's anti-poverty work

The singer John Legend has joined the growing list of celebrities involved in anti-poverty work. He calls his effort the "Show Me" campaign, based on a song he wrote about what a person can do to make the world better.

A section of his website is dedicated to raising money. The fund uses the money for mosquito nets and to help small farmers in Africa.

Stacy Brown of the Scranton Times Tribune interviewed John Legend for her story.

“We’ve already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Mbola, Tanzania, and we’ve seen malaria incidents there going down and we’ve seen farming, which is a big source of income, going up,” Mr. Legend said. “We’ve also been able to help a number of kids go to school.”

Mr. Legend also visited the village of Bonsaaso, Ghana, to get a better understanding of the grim situation there.

He began pouring money into the cause and soliciting donations to help provide much-needed aid.

In an effort to encourage his fans and others to assist in the cause, Mr. Legend wrote a passionate letter and posted it on his Web site.

He said he was moved to visit Africa’s poor after reading “The End of Poverty,” a book by Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs.

“Dr. Sachs’ book and my visits to the continent convinced me that extreme poverty can be eradicated in our lifetime with a modest amount of money,” he said.

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