Wednesday 28 October 2015

U2 at The O2 - Inspired to Speak Out

I've been working with the NGO (non-governmental organisation) ONE for a few years now and my passion for the work they do continues to increase day by day. As they are not a charity seeking funding but a grassroots campaigning and advocacy organisation they suit me much better as a partner. I'm more comfortable giving voice to issues and allowing my voice to speak on behalf of those who can't be heard than I am at raising money.

One of the founders of ONE is Bono, the lead singer of U2 and as such my husband and I ended up as guests of ONE at the U2 concert at The O2 this week. To say it was good is a major understatement, U2 really know how to put on a show. Due to my poorly knee I had changed our standing tickets to seated ones at the last moment and this meant we were up in the Gods on the 4th floor.

Up at the top of the world watching the 20,000 people below us we did wonder how the show might go but let me assure you wherever you sit at a U2 concert you will have a ball. Bono has an amazing voice, the other band members can play a fine tune and the staging and light show was exceptional. There was one part when Bono was in the middle of an enormous screen and he was walking along with a screen show scrolling past him, like he was walking down a street. It really did have to be seen to be believed - it was stunning!

It felt really apt to be at the concert on Monday as just before Popchips had asked me to write about the fun and uplifting moments in my week. Also, how important it is to look for those moments even on the ordinary days. Of course this was no ordinary day but I was certainly uplifted, inspired and had a huge amount of fun. I even managed to smuggle in a pack of Popchips to snack on whilst I waited for the main event to start. I was happy to #GetPopped as I'm loving these snacks. They remind me a little of chipsticks from when I was a kid but I can eat them guilt free as there are only around 70 calories, which is a result!

Music moves many people and can transport you instantly to another time and place. For my husband and I much of the music took us back to our youth in the 90's and being at University but it was also really interesting to see how Bono and his band had put the show together taking us back to their childhood and early band days in Ireland. Bono also managed to get in many political messages and made them really current and interesting so he didn't alienate those fans who were there just for the music and not for the wider agenda.

There was a screen show about half way through the concert which allowed the band a much needed few minutes break and filled our senses with message after message to contemplate. Below are a couple that really spoke to me and I pray there were at least one or two that spoke to each person there and perhaps made them ponder (even if just for a moment) what they can do differently or how they can get involved in the bigger fight for equality and justice in our broken world.

I silently cheered as we walked past all the restaurants and saw ONE volunteers chatting to concert goers and signing them up to join me and over 7 million others as ONE members. Then inside one of them tried to sign me up and I could have hugged her for her dedication to the work that ONE do campaigning and lobbying governments with the over reaching aim of seeing an end to extreme poverty by 2030.

ONE, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My life has been far richer since you have been in it and I'm really happy to work with you.

If you care about everyone and want to see all people have enough to eat and live in a humane manner, then why don't you also join up to be a ONE member?  No need to be fearful, you won't be bombarded with emails. You'll just get them every so often asking you to sign an online petition, share information on social media or if you want to get more involved there are ways to do that too.

If you want to know more about ONE then check out some of my earlier posts, read the coverage from my trip to Ethiopia with them in 2012 or of my trip to Washington D.C last year for the ONE Girls and Women #AYASummit.

And of course check out their website and sign up HERE.

Disclosure: I am being remunerated to work with Popchips to try them out for a week and to socially share my fun and uplifting moments.
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