Rotary International President-elect Jennifer Jones took the stage at the Global Citizen Live concert on 25 September in Paris, France, and pledged $97 million in grant funding from the organization next year for sustainable, Rotary club-led projects.
Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour broadcast with events and performances across six continents, aimed to unite people to take action to defend the planet, end the COVID-19 pandemic, defeat poverty, provide education for all children, and promote equity and justice for all. Some of the world’s top artists, celebrities, activists, and government leaders participated in this year’s event to raise awareness and support in cities including Paris; Lagos, Nigeria; London, UK; Los Angeles, USA; New York City, USA; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; and Sydney, Australia.
In Paris, where Jones pledged Rotary’s support, thousands of people gathered at the iconic Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower to see performances from Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Black Eyed Peas, Christine and the Queens, Doja Cat, Angélique Kidjo, and more. Other leaders pledging support included European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
“Every day millions of girls walk miles to fetch clean water, and millions of boys are on the streets instead of going to school. Every day moms and dads struggle to find ways to feed their children,” Jones said from the main stage in Paris. “And every day, members of Rotary and Global Citizen start our days knowing that we can make a difference.”
“This year we’re putting a special focus on empowering girls worldwide, opening doors for young women to build brighter futures,” Jones said. “Today Rotary is committed to helping end poverty globally and protecting the planet by pledging $97 million in grant funding during 2022 for sustainable, member-led projects.”
She added: “We stand together with Global Citizen as people of purpose, people of action.”
Rotary has worked with Global Citizen for a more than decade, primarily regarding the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. At the 2012 Global Citizen event in New York City, Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and celebrity ambassador Archie Panjabi announced Rotary’s $75 million commitment to polio eradication. Rotary and Global Citizen have also connected at Rotary International Conventions, the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meetings, polio advocacy events, and polio funding announcements.