Paparazzi snap photos of celebrities getting on planes, but don’t assume they’re all off on vacations. Many of the rich and famous spend their down time attending to charity organizations, nonprofits and charitable foundations. Here are 10 celebrities who’ve done charity work in Africa or for Africa.
Damon co-founded Water.org, which is working to make clean water accessible in developing countries. An offshoot of Water.org is WaterCredit, which is working on sustainable methods for keeping clean drinking water in areas of the world that need it most.
Megastar Madonna started the Raising Malawi foundation in 2006, an organization that works to end poverty in the country. The foundation provides funding and support to local organizations that do things like bring clothing, food, education and medical care to children and caregivers lacking resources.
Irish rocker Geldof established Band Aid Charitable Trust in 1984, which raised $8 million for famine relief in Africa. Geldof was also the man behind the hugely successful 1985 benefit concert, Live Aid, which raised funds to fight famine in Ethiopia.
Football (or soccer, depending on where you live) star Eto’o of the English premier League has a foundation in his home country of Cameroon called the Fundacion Privada Samuel Eto’o (The Private Foundation of Samuel Eto’o). The foundation provides healthcare and has brought more ambulances, operation centers and hospitals to several parts of Cameroon.
Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft has donated millions of dollars to prevent malaria and HIV in several parts of Africa. It also funds agricultural development initiatives to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, and provides family planning resources.
The media mogul and talk show host started the Angel Network, through which she funded the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, a school for girls in grades 8 to 12 who have displayed academic talent.
Affleck began the Eastern Congo Initiative which not only provides local organizations with the support and funding they need to improve social and economic development, but also works to increase the U.S. involvement in the region.
Pitt is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization that worked to stop genocide in Darfur. As a couple, their Jolie-Pitt Foundation has donated more than $1 million to Doctors without Borders, and Jolie has been on field missions in Chad, Egypt, Namibia, Kenya and Jordan — to name a few — helping refugees.
Along with Brad Pitt, Clooney is one of the co-founders of Not on Our Watch. Clooney was designated a U.N. messenger of peace and traveled the world gathering support and promoting Not on Our Watch. He was arrested in a protest at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. after returning from Sudan to document the way the Sudanese government was treating its people.
Bono is the founder of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. ONE works to fight poverty and preventable disease throughout Africa, as well as to encourage government involvement in these issues. Along with Bobby Shriver, Bono launched Product (RED), which raises funds to provide AIDS medication to people in Africa.