Concern Celebrates 50 Years
On Tuesday, December 4, at Cipriani Wall Street, Concern Worldwide US held its 22nd Annual Seeds of Hope Award Dinner, which this year also marked the 50th anniversary of its founding in Dublin in 1968. Over 700 guests attended the international humanitarian organization’s largest fundraising event, helping raise more than $2 million to benefit Concern’s work in twenty-five countries across Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Joanna Geraghty, President of JetBlue and Concern Worldwide US Board Chair, presented the inaugural Thomas J. Moran Seeds of Hope Award to Craig Vosburg, President of North America for Mastercard. There was plenty of star power in the gala’s headliners, with U2 front man Bono, a longtime friend and supporter of the organization, and Glamour Magazine editor-in-chief Samantha Barry, who acted as emcee. The two held a twenty-minute conversation onstage, where Bono told of the significance of the organization:
“Concern changes millions of people’s lives – indeed, they even changed my life, very early on. It was a trip to Ethiopia in the mid-80s with Concern that began my life as an activist; they turned my life right-side-up. In this moment, there is a lot of soul searching going on, here in the US and the wider world, but we must be very careful of demonizing ‘the other.’”
A real life testament to Concern’s impact, 22-year-old Rwandan Aline Joyce Berabose told the story of how, in the aftermath of genocide, a Concern team at a Congolese refugee camp had helped keep her mother healthy through her pregnancy and childbirth, and implored the audience that “even in the most desperate situations, there is hope. And when you respond, there is an impact on somebody, somewhere. I stand before you as evidence of that.” ♦ Maggie Holland