Clay Aiken – Helping Children

Uganda is twice the size of Pennsylvania and is in East Africa. It is bordered on the west by Congo, on the north by the Sudan, on the east by Kenya, and on the south by Tanzania and Rwanda. The country, which lies across the equator, is divided into three main areas-swampy lowlands, a fertile plateau with wooded hills, and a desert region. Lake Victoria forms part of the southern border.

In an effort to bring attention to the plight of children in northern Uganda, UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken traveled to the conflict affected region to witness the phenomenon of “night commuters,” children who trek from the countryside into slightly more secure towns and UNICEF supported shelters every night to avoid being abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The conflict in northern Uganda has displaced approximately 1.4 million people — 80 per cent of them children and women — as the rebel (LRA) seeks to overthrow the Ugandan government. Each evening, the threat of LRA attacks and abductions drives over 40,000 child “night commuters” to leave their homes. An estimated 12,000 children have been abducted by the LRA in the conflict-affected districts since June 2002, to be forcibly recruited as child combatants and sex slaves.

Clay interacted with children who were abducted by LTA rebels and then visited the Pabbo IDP camp in Gulu on May 25.

“Northern Uganda is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children,” said Clay. “Children are being forced to commit appalling acts of violence. Children are being killed and raped. It was all too clear that those living in the conflict-affected districts of Uganda deserve much more. The global community must act now with utmost urgency to put an end to these atrocities. No progress will be made until there is peace throughout the country.”

Comparing the situation in northern Uganda to the tsunami disaster that hit Asia at the end of last year, Aiken said the Ugandan situation is worse because of the continuous war. In the case of tsunami, he said, reconstruction is already underway.

On his role as UNICEF ambassador, Clay said, “Everyone deserves the best start in life, which is what UNICEF is working to provide the world’s most vulnerable children with. Education is essential to a child’s development. I hope that as an ambassador, I can encourage people to join UNICEF’s mission to make education a reality for children throughout the world.”

The following is a video of  Clay’s trip to Uganda.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBEGf4MMDKM

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Comments

  1. This is just one of the many reasons that I love Clay Aiken. He is an amazing man who said he wanted to use whatever celebrity he may have to make a difference – he does it for the right reasons.

    Thank you for reminding us of the good he has done, and continues to do.

  2. It is such a shame that Uganda is still in crisis, and the media is still ignoring the plight of these children. Thank you, Clay Aiken, for trying to bring the focus where it belongs

  3. I am so glad that Clay, as an Unicef Ambassador, traveled to Africa to give a little happiness to these children. It is disgusting to know that they are abducted and used for soldiers of war, and actually raped. I would love to see the day, when this violence could be stopped. But, in the mean time we have people like Clay to help.

  4. It is so sad that the condition this country is in.
    I am so glad that Clay could make that trip.
    UNICEF is lucky to have him.

  5. Thank for for posting about this. This is the kind of news that should be talked about instead of the gossip. Thank God for Clay Aiken.

  6. This is the Clay that needs to be on my Yahoo home page and in my paper and on Fox News and in the Google alerts.

    Thank you CANN for all that you do!! You are making a difference just as Clay does.

  7. I love all of the people that give of their time and resources to make a difference. Clay Aiken has taught me a lot.

  8. RIFAN–you are thinking what I am thinking. Too bad the media, bloggers, and gossips seem to concentrate on anything they can make into a negative story. ALL the celebs who do things for charities should have more attention and to heck with the negative. Hardly anything is ever mentioned about the good things Clay or other celebrities do. Even so, I admire Clay for continuing to do what he said he wanted to do after AI–make a difference.

  9. Clay Aiken is doing what he can to make this world a better place. If each of us did the same, what a wonderful world it would be!

  10. Thank you for this blog. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media would pick up on news like this instead of the negative gossip, many times not even true, that they report on ad nauseum.

    Thank you CANN for this wonderful site!

  11. Out of all of the Google Alerts on Clay today, this is the one site that knows what and who they are talking about.

    Oh well, his fans know what a wonderful guy Clay really is and I guess that is what counts the most. All the crap I’ve been reading for so many days now just shows how well known Clay really is or his comments would not have created such a media frenzy. If only they paid attention to the real man we have come to know and love, then and only then would they know what responsible journalism really is.

    Thank you CANN for being the right and bright spot of our days!

  12. ImGranny 05/25/2009 at 1:33 pm
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the media would pick up on news like this instead of the negative gossip, many times not even true, that they report on ad nauseum.

    I SO agree. There are too many media entities fighting to be first with the “scoop”, and they’ll manufacture it if they have to. The word “salacious” comes to mind, for some reason….

    Look what happened to the “supposed” Twitter about Clay taking Parker to visit AI? With each new “scoop”, the story morphed so much, you’d think Clay Aiken was the next Charlie Manson. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. And while I do my level best to avoid this crap, it has now seeped into the mainstream media, where “unnamed sources” are now considered legitimate enough to run with the “story”. I’m ashamed to admit I ever worked in the field of journalism — it has become a total embarrassment.

    CANN, you all do such amazing work, keeping the focus on the REAL Clay Aiken.

    Thank you.

    I wish more people knew and appreciated how Clay continues to honor his pledge to make a difference. My respect and admiration for him knows no bounds.

  13. Clay Aiken has a heart of gold. If the media spread all the wonderful things he does in the news, rather than gossip, the world would be a better place. He is a man to respect.

  14. Thank you for bringing some of Clay’s good deeds with Unicef over… I say some, because he does so much for children, even with his own foundation.

    Loved the video…THIS IS CLAY!!!!! Such a good man… I love the end of the video when he shakes the little boy’s hand, and says Thank you!! How sweet… I love this man….He is the greatest…

    Hugs,
    Judy

  15. I find Clay Aiken to be a fascinating man! And his dedication to his work with children around the world is just one of the many facets of this amazing man! Thanks for bringing this to the attention of all of us and especially those who don’t know much about Clay. This is a wonderful place to get the truth!

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