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I find it totally awesome when celebrities take a public stand that might not be popular and can make a real difference. Case on point? The recent ONE campaign on fighting Ebola in Africa.

Since 2014 global Ebola outbreak landed in the U.S. in late September, may people in the U.S. have worried about its local impact.  Even with the relatively few cases in the U.S. (four) compared with the countries hardest hit (more than 14,000 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), much of the U.S. attention has been on what happened here, rather than on how to stop the disease at it source.

(credit: ONE website)

(credit: ONE website)

Now that the U.S. response to protect its citizens is in gear, ONE is geared up to draw attention to the thousands of people suffering from Ebola in other countries and persuade more action to help prevent and combat this epidemic. According to “One Campaign Calls on World Leaders to Step Up Response to Ebola Epidemic” in today’s The Hollywood Reporter, ONE leaders tackled this cause because:

“The initial response to the Ebola outbreak was too slow and too uncoordinated,” said ONE president and CEO Michael Elliot. “Some countries have now stepped up to lead in a big way — with traditional donors like the U.S., U.K., France and Germany all making meaningful contributions — but this is a global crisis and it demands a global response. While our first priority needs to be containing this outbreak, it is equally important that the world take steps now to invest in strengthening health systems so that future tragedies of this kind will be stopped in their tracks.”

As part of its Ebola campaign, ONE recently released a video and an interactive Ebola Response Tracker.  The video, “Ebola: What are we waiting for?” features musicians, actors and others in silent protest waiting for a response. And, in one segment you see “Talk is cheap.”

ONE’s advocacy has demonstrated the power of visual arts, celebrity and advocacy aimed at helping people all over the world with issues, such as infectious diseases, maternal and child health, water and sanitation and much more.

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ONE is an international campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa… because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut by 60% and can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we act with urgency now.

Cofounded by Bono, we raise public awareness and work with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency so governments are accountable to their citizens. ONE does not raise money itself to build schools, hospitals and the like, but does its work by advocacy and campaigning so that government funds continue to flow to programs that make a difference in people’s lives. ONE works closely with African activists and policymakers as they fight corruption, promote poverty-fighting priorities, monitor the use of aid, and help build civil society and economic development. ONE’s work is strictly politically non-partisan.

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