BTS re-upped their commitment to their UNICEF “Love Myself” campaign last week, with the group and their Big Hit Entertainment label pledging to donate more than $1 million to UNICEF. “I thought we were doing this for people around us, but I realized as time passed that many changes also happened within myself,” Jimin said in a video statement. The group also pledged proceeds from the sale of Love Myself merch and a portion of profits from Love Yourself album sales to the ongoing campaign.
The Grammy-nominated K-pop icons — who were just announced that they’ll take the stage at the March 14 2021 Grammy Awards — launched their Love Myself campaign in 2017, with the effort raising more than $1.4 million in its first year and $2.98 million to date. Fellow group member RM added, “It seems like yesterday that we held our signing ceremony and began the Love Myself campaign,” noting that the four years since have flown by.
“We are extremely moved and thankful that our Love Myself campaign, which began with small steps, is now being elevated to a multinational MCA partnership,” he said. “We also strove to Love Myself and I think we as a team and as individuals grew as well.”
In the same video statement, UNICEF’s executive director, Henrietta H. Fore, said she had “wonderful news” to share about the partnership between the pop septet and the relief organization focused on providing aid to children worldwide. “Four years ago we came together with a shared ambition to help create a world in which children and young people are free from all forms of violence,” she said. “Since then, both in person and through their music and social media, BTS has helped young people all over the world open up about their experiences of violence and bullying and encouraged love and kindness.”
With member Suga absent, the other six singers described how they practice the tenets of loving yourself, with Jin saying, “I am consoled at every concert we hold, so I personally would like to send the Love Myself message through our concerts and be able to heal ourselves and each other together.”
According to UNICEF, with school closures, physical distancing and decreased access to services during the now year-long COVID-19 pandemic, a renewed focus has fallen on the importance of good mental and psychological well-being for children and young people, especially those living with neglect, abuse and bullying. “COVID-19 is taking an enormous toll on all of our lives and emotional well-being, not least children and young people,” said Fore. “Through their music and messages, BTS has said to their global audience, ‘You are not alone. This is a difficult time for all of us. And together, with love and kindness, we will get through it.’ As our partnership moves into a new stage, together we are committed to reimagining a kinder, safer and more connected world.”
To date, BTS has addressed heads of state and world leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York as part of their UNICEF duties, as well as releasing an exclusive video to support UNICEF’s #ENDViolence campaign to encourage love and kindness online and in real life. The band also set up dedicated booths at their shows worldwide with information on how individuals should protect themselves and each other from violence and bullying.
Watch BTS’ UNICEF video below.