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Photos of Scarlett Johansson in Rwanda

Scarlett Goes (RED) in Rwanda

Scarlett Johansson spent some time in Rwanda recently as part of the (RED) project to spread awareness about the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa. She visited clinics and people to get a firsthand look at how the program is helping to lower the rate at which the disease is spreading. In her reflection of her trip, Scarlett said, “I came here with an open mind, wanting to listen, understand and learn; I leave with the overwhelming understanding that the small action of making a (RED) choice in your purchases in the West has an enormous impact on the lives of people in countries like Rwanda.” Between Scarlett here and fiancé Ryan running the marathon for Parkinson's, it sounds like these two are ready to join the ranks of Hollywood's activist power couples.

Photo credit Jonx Pillemer

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StrawberryBlonde StrawberryBlonde 8 years
wow is she really that short?
samherlihy samherlihy 8 years
Sundaygreen (love your avatar btw) I do agree. And something is definitely better than nothing. I guess it's just sort of sad that we have to pander to the lowest common denominator all the time. The trend of "conspicuous consumption" in our society is morphing into "conspicuous philanthropy and altruism". People would rather spend 100 bucks on something and have 5 of that go to charity so that they can advertise to the world that they are in fact charitable. It's like they need the validation. Giving 100 bucks straight to charity isn't an option because, well, then who would know? And that's what it's all about. If a byproduct of that is that people in need get some of the extra profits that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise, that's not a bad thing. But it's a fad like everything else and it will die down. We need to change our thinking instead of jumping on a bandwagon because Bono is trying to label philanthropy as "sexy". The validation should come from knowing you did something good. Not from brandishing a new red Razor or trying to emulate a celebrity.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
Let's be honest here, I think a lot of people (consumers, really) would prefer buying a piece of clothing and having that feeling of 'oh good, some money will go to poor people in Africa or wherever' instead of going to the trouble of finding out about charities or organisations and donating their own cash. Because, you know, they get a nice t-shirt out of the deal and walk away feeling good about themselves.
Sophie827 Sophie827 8 years
I agree Samherlihy. I once read that the amount of money spent on marketing RED was like 5 times that of that money raised for charity. I guess it's better than nothing at all but I think people want to support a good cause so they go out and buy something they don't really want or need not realizing how little of the price actually goes to charity. The company already benefits from the image boost so why do they need extra cash too? I think it's great when a company has a product where ALL the profit goes towards the charity though or if they give a little badge/pin for a donation. It serves as a symbol for what that person believes in and inspires others to get involved too.
lovemoi lovemoi 8 years
i'm glad to see her working for a good cause!!!!
spicyaroma spicyaroma 8 years
That's ace! Go Scarlett!!
samherlihy samherlihy 8 years
Buy less, give more. RED campaign just creates more profit for Gap by getting people to buy stuff they didn't need to begin with under the auspices of altruism. Guiltless spending = bigger profits for big businesses. I know I'm going to get flack for pointing this out because everyone wants to think that if a small (sometimes self-serving) gesture does ANY good at all, it's worth it. But the big picture that's unfolding is a little unsettling. Mark Rosenman, a longtime activist in the nonprofit sector and a public-service professor at the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, said the disparity between the marketing outlay and the money raised by Red is illustrative of some of the biggest fears of nonprofits in the U.S. "There is a broadening concern that big business is taking on the patina of philanthropy and crowding out philanthropic activity and even substituting for it," he said. "It benefits the for-profit partners much more than the charitable causes." Red campaign: Dreamed up by rock star/advocate Bono, its premise is that companies can actually make money by selling new branded products to well-intentioned consumers and then donating partial proceeds to the Global Fund. The trouble is that for all the celebrity sponsorship corporate participants have spent more money on marketing than on donations. The companies concerned have actually benefited more than the Global Fund. The campaign's inherent appeal to conspicuous consumption has spurred a parody by a group of San Francisco designers and artists, who take issue with Bono's rallying cry. "Shopping is not a solution. Buy less. Give more," is the message at, which encourages people to give directly to the Global Fund. "The Red campaign proposes consumption as the cure to the world's evils," said Ben Davis, creative director at Word Pictures Ideas, co-creator of the site. "Can't we just focus on the real solution -- giving money?" Trent Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, which rates the spending practices of 5,000 nonprofits, said he's concerned about the campaign's impact on the next generation. "The Red campaign can be a good start or it can be a colossal waste of money, and it all depends on whether this edgy, innovative campaign inspires young people to be better citizens or just gives them an excuse to feel good about themselves while they buy an overpriced item they don't really need."
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Wow that's so great what Scarlett is doing! And I love her outfit here.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's interesting that scarjo has gone to rawanda to see what's going on over there, but she's always been involved in different things so i guess it's a normal cross over for her. i think that if she can help raise awareness of what's going on around the world and hopefully influence how we make purchases if they can contribute to helping other nations, then it's a good thing.
asarwan asarwan 8 years
That's great.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
Love it!
LolaSvelt LolaSvelt 8 years
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