Friday, March 09, 2007

What happens when people do the right thing...

1984. Bob Geldof, music journalist turned punk rock frontman, was inspired by a news report about Africa's famine epidemic and began his fight against world hunger. Geldof organized the world's first global charity concert: LIVE AID. Performances by 100 artists around the world were viewed by 1.8 billion people. Live Aid raised $150 million british pounds in one day.
1976. Betty Williams, a receptionist and mother of two, witnessed three children killed during the political turmoil in Northern Ireland. Within two days of the tragic event, Williams obtained 6,000 signatures petitioning for peace. She then led 10,000 people on a peace march to the children's graves. The peaceful march was disrupted by protesters. One week later, Williams organized another march. This time the march was 35,000 strong. Betty Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.
1961. Two students in Portugal raised their glasses in a toast to freedom. They were imprisoned for seven years. British lawyer Peter Benenson was shocked by the events. To rally support for the students, he wrote a letter to his local paper. The response was so overwhelming that a committee was formed to organize the campaign. It quickly grew into a world-wide movement known today as Amnesty International.
1920s. A boy from a small African village dreamt of a day when equality would prevail over his country. After years of activism, he was charged with "political treason" and sentenced to life in prison. His dream of equality never died. In 1990, after 27 years in prison, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was finally released. Mandela then led South Africa to its first ever democratic presidential election. Nearly 19 million people voted. Nelson Mandela won the election, ending the racist apartheid regime that divided South Africa for 46 years.
"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"-Margaret Mead


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