Alicia Keys was one of the performers at the recent Hope Rising! event in Toronto, held in aid of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports health groups dealing with the disease in Africa.
The R&B songstress, who co-founded the Keep a Child Alive organization, which provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS, hopes that her appearances will help raise awareness of the deadly disease.
“These are human beings. You put these numbers out there – 30 million dead, 33 million-plus infected, 16 million AIDS orphans – these are people, this isn’t like some dot on a chart,” says Keys. ” It’s hard. You get these statistics and numbers and you start to lose the soul of what we’re really, really talking about.
Outside of her own philanthropic commitments, Keys urges people around the world to get involved, even if it’s something small.
“I think people get into their head that there’s this need and you have to do this grand and huge thing for it to mean something and that’s not the case,” she says. “Even just your constant commitment, however small or big, that is something that is giving life to someone. If it was your brother, or your mother, or your sister, you would say, ‘No, I’m not going to allow them to just die.'”