Companies and Rock Stars Together To Help End Starvation in Africa with ‘I’m Gonna Be Your Friend’ Campaign
Check out the Google home page on Aug. 18; just below the search bar there is a link for that says “I’m gonna be your friend.”
It goes to a YouTube video showing the desperate situation of children in East Africa with background music by Bob Marley.
And with that, Google has become the latest company to support Bob Marley’s Save the Children campaign for East Africa. Other organisations already involved include Universal Music Group, Yahoo!, Facebook, MSN, YouTube and Twitter.
Additionally, more than 150 of the world’s most influential musicians, artists, sports stars and celebrities are all supporting the campaign. Hundreds of millions of Facebook and Twitter (#beafriend) fans have been able to view a short film of the crisis in East Africa created by award-winning director Kevin MacDonald from footage of East Africa. The film is set to the 1973 Bob Marley & The Wailers song ‘High Tide or Low Tide’.
Icons, celebrities and artists across the world who have posted details include: Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, David Beckham, U2, Beyonce, The Rolling Stones, Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Lopez, Muse, Coldplay, Elton John, Black Eye Peas, Lewis Hamilton, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Robert Plant, Kanye West, Madonna, Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Brian May, Sting and Rihanna*.
The ‘I’m Gonna Be Your Friend’ campaign was developed to support Save the Children’s appeal to raise funds for the devastating food crisis affecting millions of children and their families across East Africa.
“Almost two million children across East Africa have been going to bed hungry for many weeks now and every six minutes a child is dying from hunger,” said soccer star David Beckham. “This is a fantastic campaign that has brought everyone together and I hope we can all help raise awareness of this critical situation.”
Kevin MacDonald, award-winning film director, said: “Over the last year I’ve been working on a documentary about the life of Bob Marley particularly focusing on his deep connection with Africa. When I heard about the horrendous humanitarian crisis going on in East Africa I couldn’t help but wonder what Bob would have felt about it – and how he would have wanted to use his talent and his fame to bring money and attention to the situation – to motivate people to do something. So I decided to cut a short film about the plight of the East African people set to one of Bob’s most poignant but little known songs. I will always be your friend, sings Bob – he’s asking us to show our friendship to the people of East Africa.”
The food crisis across East Africa is the worst in decades. 10 million people are affected – many have no food, no water and have lost all their livestock. Six million across the region need immediate humanitarian assistance. Save the Children and other aid agencies have launched a huge emergency response across the region and are on the ground delivering life-saving aid.
Helping raise funds for food, water and medicine for those in East Africa, the song and film can be downloaded through ITunes, from www.imgonnabeyourfriend.org http://www.imgonnabeyourfriend.org or via Bob Marley’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/bobmarley, for 99p / $1.29. The Facebook page will also feature click-through links for direct donations to Save the Children’s East Africa appeal.
The single, ‘High Tide or Low Tide’ was specially chosen by the Marley family for the resonance of the single’s lyrics, “I’m Gonna Be Your Friend”, which form the title of the campaign and a message to be shared by friends across their social networks.
Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children said, “Save the Children, along with other aid agencies, is already supporting families with food, water and medicines. But the crisis is getting worse by the day and millions of children are facing starvation. We can stop this happening. But we need to act now. Every day counts. Please help us by downloading this powerful single and let’s stop this catastrophe getting any worse.”