There are many sceptics of celebrity-backed (or fronted) charities and foundations; some say that if a celebrity is really wealthy and wants to raise money for a charity, why don’t they give all their own away?
I guess that’s one way of looking at it. Another is that many celebrities are just like the rest of us: they’re are saddened when they see suffering, and feel the need to contribute in some way.
So Alicia Keys co-founded the charity KCA – Keep A Child Alive. They provide genuine care and support for orphaned children in Africa (over 250,000 at last count) who’ve been affected by AIDS. Not only does it raise a substantial amount of money, which is distributed directly to those who need it, it obviously influences her music – so we benefit too.
Alicia and KCA make it really easy for the rest of us to contribute in some small way; just texting the word ALIVE to 82540, enables us to send an instant donation of £3 – and receive a nice reply from Alicia, who’s new album The Element Of Freedom is out now:)
The Beginning of Keep A Child Alive
The seed of Keep a Child Alive was sown in Kenya in 2002. Royalties from Leigh Blake’s previous fundraiser, Red Hot & Blue, built the AIDS Research and Family Care Clinic in Mombasa. A woman named Anne walked in to the clinic, desperate to obtain the anti-retroviral drugs her three-year-old son Brine needed to survive. At the time the medication’s high cost was an impossible dream for most Africans to afford, and Leigh was so moved by this woman and her courage that she decided to pay for them.
Word of the children’s desperate need for medication spread among Leigh’s friends and colleagues, and soon they were offering to do the same. KCA Board Member Peter Edge became its first donor, and soon Alicia Keys passion for the issue drove her to become its first Global Ambassador.
What started as a very personal incident between two mothers has become a tremendous initiative for change. With over 4000 children and family members on ARV treatment, over 250,000 people under our care, three orphanages receiving funding, and major clinic sites in expansion, Keep a Child Alive is making a direct impact in the lives of so many who need help.