Beyonce is putting her considerable international influence to use by helping the United Nations launch a global campaign to bring attention to the need for people to help each other by doing humanitarian work. The campaign hopes to reach 1 billion people on August 19, which it is calling World Humanitarian Day.
The campaign was launched yesterday, with Beyonce announcing that she will be filming a video for her song “I Was Here” in front of a live audience in the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York. The video will be released around the globe on August 19 and will be donated to the U.N. campaign by Beyonce and Diane Warren, the legendary songwriter who penned the song, inspired by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The song was included on her fourth studio album, 4, which came out last year.
“We all see the headlines and we think what can I really do to help?” said Beyoncé. “World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a difference. This is our time to leave our mark on the world and show that we were here and we care.”
The campaign encourages people to visit the campaign website, www.whd-iwashere.org, and find out ways to be involved on August 19 and beyond.
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“World Humanitarian Day celebrates humanitarian work,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “I hope everyone will pledge to complete at least one humanitarian action – however great or small – through www.whd-iwashere.org. Together we can create an unprecedented awareness of the plight of people affected by crises around the world.”
The plan is for communities and organizations across the globe to celebrate World Humanitarian Day through commemorations and public events. World Humanitarian Day was created by the U.N. in 2008 to raise public awareness of the need for humanitarian assistance around the world. It is celebrated each year on August 19, the day in 2003 when 22 people lost their lives in an attack on the U.N. offices in Baghdad.
These are the steps the U.N. recommends everyone takes to support World Humanitarian Day.
1. Visit www.whd-iwashere.org
2. Click on “Show Your Support”.
3. Choose to support World Humanitarian Day via Twitter, Facebook or both, and get the word out to your friends and followers.
4. Continue tweeting and posting in the lead-up to 19 August.
5. On 19 August, make your mark by doing something in your local community, and watch as everyone’s World Humanitarian Day messages are simultaneously shared around the world.