Bono Speaks Out Against Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur

|PIC1|Bono has recently spoken out against the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The U2 lead singer is a long-time supporter of charity efforts and in 2005 he played a fundamental role in organising Live 8, a series of worldwide concerts which sought to raise the profile of the world's poverty problems.

Speaking to reporters recently, he said that that the ongoing violence in the Darfur region in Sudan was "preposterous" and that "governments need to take up [their] slack" in dealing with the situation.

Although he said that "the activism I do is because I can and I should", he added: "I would always rather be with the band - you know you wake up in the morning with a melody in your head - it is a thrill like no other in the world to be in this band".

He joked that if world leaders did more to tackle problems such as Darfur, "then pop stars and sports stars can stay in bed like they'd like to".

The singer took action in fighting against AIDS and poverty last Saturday in a town in Chicago.

Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, visited the downtown Nordstrom store to promote a designer T-shirt embellished with the logo of Bono's "One" campaign against poverty, which will raise money to pay for AIDS medication and medical care in Africa.

The shirts are made in Africa by Edun, a fair trade clothing label started by Bono and Hewson.

The company will donate US$10 (£5) for every US$40 (£20) shirt sold to a fund supporting the health care of the factory workers who make the shirts.

Bono said he hopes to get 5 million people signed up for his anti-poverty campaign by the next presidential election.

Last month, US Megachurch pastor Bill Hybels received a phone message from Bono, who was aiming to "vision-cast" the churches and wake them up to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Ever since the rock star took a Live Aid trip to Ethiopia two decades ago and revisited the questions raised then on poverty and disease, he's been on a mission to get the world and especially the churches on board to fix what is "fixable," as Bono said.

He pondered, how come churches aren't getting on board with the greatest social cause of the day?

Bono himself has been using his celebrity influence to bring attention to the heart-wrenching scene in Africa.

"Music is my first love," he told Hybels, thanking God for his gift. A melody playing in his head inspires him to get up every morning. Bono pointed out another reason that gets him up each day: the ONE Campaign. The campaign, voiced by a host of celebrities with Bono as the leading man, as well as faith communities, was launched to mobilise Americans for the cause of poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Calling the "celebrity" thing "ridiculous," Bono plainly stated, "I'm a rock star ... but I have a head for the world's poor."

Bono - TIME magazine's 2005 Person of the Year along with Bill and Melinda Gates - was featured at last month's Leadership Summit because he "understands influence," which is what leadership is all about, Hybels explained. And he's leveraging his influence for the sake of the poor and sick.

We want to represent the most poor and vulnerable, Bono said.

Charity is important, Bono noted, but the desire of the churches for justice is what the world really needs, he added.