“She’ll be President one day,” said Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), as we were reflecting on what we had just witnessed in the town of Bensonville, Liberia. A young girl of perhaps ten, dressed in local ceremonial attire, her hair intricately braided, had just boldly led a troop of some 20 children, all in identical costume, with a joyful welcome song and dance. When our delegation arrived this mesmerizing child marched forward, the other children clapping and singing behind her as her voice rang out in a clear and resonant solo. I cannot imagine a child of similar age in the States standing tall, proud and confident, in front of strangers, leading her young peers through verse after of us, “We have peace, no more war.” Then again, I cannot imagine one of our children enduring the conditions to which we have borne witness here. We are very lucky indeed.
It was the first day of a week-long listening and learning trip with (RED), the organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver generate private sector money for AIDS programs financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Sotheby’s have been long time supporters of (RED) and the fight against AIDS, and my colleague Olly Barker and I were thrilled to be able to see some of the challenges and success first hand. Article continues here