Beyoncé has been busy mobilizing the masses for World Humanitarian Day. The do-gooder singer recently offered some insight into her motivation for promoting the United Nations’ initiative.

“I found out that 22 people lost their lives helping people in [a] Bagdad [terrorist attack],”  Beyoncé said in an interview with CNN. “I thought it was such an incredible thing to turn that into something positive and try to include the world in doing something great for someone else.” 

She also explained why she decided to contribute a performance of her song, “I Was Here.”  

“‘I Was Here’ says ‘I want to leave my footprints in the sands of times.’ It is basically all of our dreams, leaving our mark on the world. We all want to know that our life meant something and that we did something for someone else and that we spread positivity no matter how big or how small. The song was perfect for Humanitarian Day.”

Beyoncé first piqued the interests of her fans when she posted a cryptic message to her website: “Leave your footprint on August 19, 2012.” 

She later made the announcement that she would be helping to raise awareness for WHD with “I Was Here,” a song from her 2011 album 4

On August 10, Beyoncé performed the song for the U.N.’s General Assembly that was shot for a video designed to raise awareness. 

World Humanitarian Day was inspired by the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, which claimed the lives of 22 UN staff members. The UN hopes to inspire 1 billion volunteers to give their time in service of others.

“We all have our purpose and our strengths  and I don’t know if it’s selfish or unselfish,” she said. “But it feels so wonderful to do something for someone else. And for the UN to want to include the world was something important and I feel like that’s what I represent.” 

Go here to leave your footprint alongside Beyoncé by writing a message of hope that will be sent out to the world on August 19.


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