Thursday, April 12, 2007

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken Issues Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Afghanistan's Children

Clay visiting a school in Afghanistan

$100,000 in 10 Days for Afghanistan

Click HERE to Support UNICEF's Programs In Afghanistan

A Message From Clay Aiken, UNICEF Ambassador:

"I've just returned from Afghanistan and see that the need is urgent. Let's aim high and work together to raise $100,000 in 10 days. Join me in standing with UNICEF to help these kids."

In his role as UNICEF Ambassador, Clay, a former teacher, is focused on education. He witnessed Afghanistan's new education initiatives, including the rebuilding of schools and training of teachers. Here is an overview of Clay's trip:

From PR Newswire

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken Draws Attention to the Critical Needs of Children in Afghanistan

NEW YORK and KABUL, Afghanistan, April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Clay Aiken concluded a recent trip to Afghanistan today by heralding the progress being made in children's education.

"As a former teacher I recognize that spark of hope and excitement all children possess when given the opportunity to learn," said Aiken, who spent five days traveling between Kabul and Bamyan in the central region of Afghanistan. "Rebuilding schools, training teachers, providing essential supplies and teaching materials are just some of the advances UNICEF and its partners have made to keep that hope flourishing."

Last month marked a significant moment in the country's recent history when more than six million children headed back to school to resume their education. Education in Afghanistan has witnessed a tremendous boost over the past few years.

While in the capital city of Kabul, Aiken, who was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004, visited schools that have implemented programs meant to ensure all children regardless of gender receive an education. While in Bamyan, Aiken visited a health clinic and women's literacy center where many women learn how to read and write and experience formal education for the first time. The literacy program is one UNICEF's priority projects for the empowerment of women in Afghanistan.

Aiken also visited water and sanitation programs as well as a program that reintegrates former child soldiers into mainstream society.

"UNICEF is committed to reach out to all the children in Afghanistan and provide quality education," said Catherine Mbengue, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan. "While there has been progress, there are still over one million children, particularly girls who are not going to school-we have to do more in order to change that."

Some of the recent UNICEF supported initiatives for education in the country include:

-- distribution of teaching and learning materials to 2.71 million children and 61,780 teachers
-- enrollment of 195,878 out-of school children mainly girls who now have
access to primary education through community-based schools in 29 provinces
-- supporting mobile school protection teams in 34 provinces
-- training of 614 teacher trainers as well as 8,110 newly recruited female teachers
-- over 48,009 women enrolled in 1,782 adult literacy centers in 17 provinces

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children in 156 countries through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.

For more information about UNICEF please visit or call 1-800-4UNICEF.


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Anonymous said...

Well, I'm toast. A smart, generous and talented man is using his celebrity and influence for something other than bling and self-aggrandizement.

What a novel concept! Thanks for posting this. I hope lots of people see it and respond with a donation to Clay and UNICEF's Afghanistan's fundraising efforts!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting and thank goodness for Clay Aiken. It's so wonderful to see a celebrity put his celebrity status to good use---to help others instead of adding to a bling or car collection.

The man is mad-talented and not bad on the eyes, smart and funny and an all around good guy. I hope UNICEF gets mucho bucks for Afghanistan with Clay's help!