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Old 03-18-2002, 09:31 AM   #1
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Bono's Mission In Malawi, Africa

Like the article says, he's going back this month.

BONO'S ON A MISSION

STAR RUSHES AID TO NUNS AT FAMINE HIT HOSPITAL


ROCK STAR Bono took time out just hours before receiving his four Grammies
to pledge his help to an Irish-run mission in Africa which is battling famine.

The U2 singer was visibly moved when Sister Anne Carr brought him to visit a
hospital full of AIDS patients in Malawi during an African trip in January.

The Irish nuns also brought the world famous musician to visit impoverished
families struggling to survive in the community.

Since his visit two months ago the small southern African country has plunged
into crisis and they have sent out a desperate appeal for help. It is estimated 70
per cent of the 10 million population will be affected as the country slips into
famine.

A Government official in Malawi announced his country on the verge of starvation
on the night Bono picked up four Grammy awards in Los Angeles.

Spokesperson for the Medical Missionaries of Mary, Sister Isabelle Smith, said
they were grateful for the support of the campaigning singer.

She said: "He was waiting for the awards but he made a call to his office to send
help to Malawi.

"Much of the world's media ignored this information but Bono didn't miss it. Within
hours they were on the phone to the Medical Missionaries of Mary community in
Lilongwe offering assistance for the villages Bono had visited a few weeks earlier."

Bono was in Malawi with the Director of the Harvard Institute for International
Development, Jeff Sachs, to address a summit meeting about debt relief for
southern Africa.

He insisted on seeing the scale of poverty and illness in the country before
attending the meeting.

Bono promised to return with politicians so that decision makers could see the
effects of policies on the people of poorer countries.

And after a meeting with the US President this week Bono admitted that he was
a "pest" of the White House.

However, President Bush praised the star for doing everything he can to "achieve
what his heart tells him and that is nobody - nobody - should be living in poverty."

Bono, who has already met former US President Bill Clinton, questioned George
Bush about the AIDs epidemic sweeping Africa.

On a visit to Africa, later this month, the singer will add treasury Secretary Paul
O'Neill to a lengthy list of world leaders - Tony Blair, Nelson Mandella, Kofi Annan
and the Pope - who have his ear.

In Malawi Sister Mary Doonan, from Co Meath, took the U2 frontman to the home
of a widow with seven children who had gone without food for three days.

The one-roomed mud hut in which they lived was already starting to cave in due
to the rains which had just started.

Sister Mary had discovered a second family close by who were desperately
struggling to survive after their mother had been seriously injured.

She was waiting for more than six years for a wheelchair or crutches to help her
move around.

Sister Mary said: "They had little idea of the fame of their visitors, but they had
grasped that they were 'friends from Ireland'.

"We are glad Bono and Jeff came to see us, because they are not only talking to
us but are also going to talk to the people who have power," said Sister Mary.

"It was a simple and friendly visit. I was deeply touched by his sensitivity and
astuteness as he met the people, and by his sense of compassion and how he
listened."

Now the Medical Missionaries are calling on Irish people to put pressure on the
Department of Foreign Affairs to help the starving Africa nation.

Sister Isabelle said: "The situation is desperate. One of the sisters in the hospital,
Anne Carr, said they fed 600 this week from the Chaplain's funds.

"The patients were so hungry. The food the hospital provides isn't adequate to
meet the needs.

"The hospital resources are not reaching all the patients.

"The police are saying they are picking up bodies every night.

"The priests in the dioceses say imprudent management, drought and dictatorial
practices of the World Bank are at the root of the crisis."

She said Bono showed a deep understanding of the situation in Malawi during
his visit.

"When Sister Anne Carr brought him around the hospital they wanted her to take
him to see the private section. She was saying to herself 'Why are we going to the
private floor?' but that was where they wanted her to bring him.

"When he came out Bono turned to her and sighed and said: 'This is what it could
be.'

"He meant it was the way it should be for all the people. It was semi-private and
reasonably comfortable," Sister Isabelle said.

"The homes he was brought into were chosen by the local people before he came.

"A lot of them would never have heard of Bono but many were deeply touched by
Bono and Jeff."

The sisters felt he was a great listener. He was asking the right questions and his
whole style of being with the children was great.

Sister Isabelle said there was a need for international action.

"It's a national disaster. Bono offered his help and told his office to get food out
there but it needs much more than Bono," she said.

"There have been many attempts by popstars to bring attention to world crisis and
it is very welcome.

"In a few weeks time they will be talking about a disaster."


Sister Doonan is next to Bono in this picture





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Old 03-18-2002, 09:37 AM   #2
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Gina, thank you. I swear you read my mind- I *just* wrote to my friend that we haven't heard a THING about his trip to Africa yet. thank you, and this makes me so proud and loving toward Bono
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Old 03-18-2002, 09:42 AM   #3
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*proud* I wish the other world leaders would do something "helpful" and try to really hear what Bono has to say

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Old 03-18-2002, 09:44 AM   #4
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OMG..... total Bono Humanitarian *Fuzzies*

Thanks for sharing that with us Gina Marie

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Old 03-18-2002, 10:47 AM   #5
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Oh Bono, Love You! That was a great article! Thanks for posting it Gina.

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Old 03-18-2002, 03:55 PM   #6
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*overwhelmed & speechless*
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Old 03-18-2002, 04:38 PM   #7
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That article from the Boston Globe just floored me. I mean, I've been following the "Jubilee road" for a couple of years now but there was something about that article that just tore me up!

What the US and Europe need are some really good journalists to go to Africa with Bono and O'Neill later this month and get at the heart of this pandemic. I have yet to see a REALLY good piece of journalism on it.

I disagree with Bono on one thing: In the Time article he is quoted that in order to get things accomplished, he must act with his head, not his heart. What that means is give the facts to Congress, not pull at the heartstrings. I agree to a point, that he can't just show up and play a video of starving and dying children at a luncheon in the Capitol Rotunda. That is not practical. But I just do not think the USA really sees the true scope of the issue.

I am printing out that story from the Globe because I want to remember how lucky we are here. If the media could jump on the plight of AIDS and debt and trade in Africa, the way it jumped on the plight of the Afgani's, or even the Bosnians a few years back; well, maybe there would be more support in the US for Bush's proposal. I don't want to be pessimisstic but I think Bono and Sachs have quite a fight on their hands with regards to the amount of $$ and relief that is needed. And I think the US could use a good dose of pictures of dying children in Africa. I mean, the # of people dying there is just unbelieveable. I really can't believe there is not more media coverage of it. I guess another story on the Yates murders, or prying in to the private lives of the van dam parents sells more advertising!

[This message has been edited by oktobergirl (edited 03-18-2002).]

[This message has been edited by oktobergirl (edited 03-18-2002).]
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Old 03-18-2002, 05:00 PM   #8
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*fuzzies*

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Old 03-18-2002, 05:16 PM   #9
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What a good boy! I admire him so much!

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Old 03-18-2002, 05:19 PM   #10
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aww...Bono's so sweet!
*also gets fuzzies*

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Old 03-18-2002, 05:55 PM   #11
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God Bless him...what a wonderful thing to do. This is why he is my hero.
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Old 03-18-2002, 06:34 PM   #12
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Wow. Really admirable stuff... I agree oktobergirl-- when I read things like this I realize just how good I have it and how grateful I am for that. Bono rocks.
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Old 03-18-2002, 08:51 PM   #13
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I loved these articles, THANK YOU Gina Marie, our wonderful Pleba news hound! It's articles like these that make me SO happy and *proud* to be a U2/Bono fan...and SO mad when I hear people 'dissing' Bono for whatever the reason. Have they (have WE?) done anything even remotely close to all that Bono has done? He may have his naysayers, but I will always believe to that Bono truly is one of the MOST remarkable, caring, talented individuals God ever put on this planet. If I sound a little biased...then so be it!

Can you even imagine what this world would be like if everyone gave as much of themselves to the world as Bono? WOW...how much better could the world be???

Don't ever stop Bono!
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Old 03-19-2002, 02:01 AM   #14
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From The Boston Globe:

GREAT DECISIONS

AIDS overwhelms Africa, tests U.S. national morality

By JEFFREY SACHS AND SONIA EHRLICH SACHS

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Blantyre, Malawi -- The sight was shocking. Peering into the medical ward of Queen
Elizabeth Hospital was like peering into a corner of hell. AIDS has overtaken the
hospital.

Seventy percent of the medical-ward admissions are AIDS-related, but the hospital
lacks the proper medications to treat the sick. So the patients come to die in ever
increasing numbers, far beyond any capacity to manage.

Two to a bed; sometimes three to a bed. When the beds overflow, the next wave of
the dying huddle on the floor under the beds, to stay out of the way of families, nurses,
and doctors passing through the wards. The constant low-level moans and fixed gazes
of emaciated faces fill the ward.

These patients are dying of poverty as much as they are dying of AIDS.

In the next corridor is an outpatient service that offers AIDS drugs. Four hundred or so
patients are successfully being treated with antiretrovirals. They are the tiny fraction
who can afford to pay approximately $1 per day out of pocket for the medicines.

The treatment has been successful. CIPLA, the Indian generics producer, supplies the
drugs; the patients take them twice a day and they get better. No great complexity, no
unusual complications of toxicity, no struggles to achieve patient adherence to the drug
regimen. Just a doctor prescribing medicines, and his patients responding.

A few miles away, one sees the implications of the dying fields that Africa has become.
A village in Malawi is like a giant orphanage, in which a few elderly and wizened
grandmothers look after the children of their dead and dying sons and daughters.

Enter a village and suddenly one is surrounded by dozens of children, a handful of
elderly, and almost nobody of working age. On the day of our visit, it turns out, the few
remaining men are off to a funeral. The grandmothers talk softly of their lost children as
their orphaned grandchildren squat quietly nearby.

One grandmother shows us the rotting, bug-infested millet that she will use to make the
gruel that keeps her and her wards barely alive. A beautiful young girl proudly tells us
that she is in the second grade. She walks barefoot three kilometers early each morning
to get to school. She wants to go to college, says her grandma. To make it, she will have
to beat forbidding odds.

The rich world is an accomplice to the mass deaths in Africa. Why aren't U.S. leaders
visiting the hospitals, villages and health ministries in Africa to ensure that the United
States is doing all it can do to stop the deaths? Why aren't U.S. leaders talking to
African doctors?

We are spending tens of billions of dollars to fight a war on terrorism that tragically
claimed a few thousand American lives. Yet we are spending perhaps 1/100 of that in
a war against AIDS that kills more than 5,000 Africans each day.

A report of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health of the World Health
Organization shows that a tiny share of rich-country income -- one penny of every $10
of GNP -- would translate into 8 million lives saved each year in the poor countries.

The rich world is running out of excuses. Every misconception we've heard about
treating AIDS patients -- that the drugs don't work in Africa, the patients wouldn't adhere
to "complex" regimens, that the doctors aren't qualified or can't be trained -- has been
matched by similarly lazy misconceptions about foreign assistance.

We've been told that any aid would be wasted, that debt relief would be squandered by
corruption. We've been told that it's not "cost effective" to spend a tiny fraction of our own
income to save millions each year, as if it's cost effective to let a generation die, to allow
the collapse of Africa's tottering health care system, and to stand by as tens of millions
of children are orphaned.

Debt-relief foes in Congress have warned that the benefits of debt cancellation would
never reach the poor. We found the opposite. In each country that we visited on this
trip -- Malawi, Uganda, Ghana -- the government is pursuing a meticulous and
transparent process to ensure that budgetary savings from debt relief are actually
channeled into urgent social sectors. The problem is not waste or corruption, the problem
is that the extent of help from the U.S. and Europe is so meager in the face of the
enormous crisis.

In a small room in Uganda, the intermingling of beauty and unnecessary suffering
touched us more deeply than we could have imagined. A singing troupe of HIV-infected
individuals, all likely to die in the next few years for lack of access to life-saving meds,
sang to us with great power, charm and bravery of their struggles.

Rock star Bono , traveling with our group, reached for his guitar. With haunting beauty,
he responded with his magnificent ballad, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."
The Ugandans swayed rhythmically to his pure and gripping tones. The tears flowed
freely.


The U.S. complicity in Africa's mass suffering, unless reversed, will stain our country.
Africa is the place where we will confront our own humanity, our morality, our purposes
as individuals and as a country.


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Old 03-19-2002, 02:14 AM   #15
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Great stories. Is this a new trip or his one in January? I know he was supposed to go in March.
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