On Friday, I was asked by my lunch companions to talk about Clay Aiken. They were pleasant and really wanted to know more about Clay and what made me spend a bit of each day writing about him, his interests, and his career. While chatting, I realized that I hadn’t thought recently about UNICEF and the many ways that they help children in the world every day. Sometimes we forget that UNICEF is out there every day, helping children in 190 countries throughout the world.
UNICEF was created to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. They advocate for measures to give children the best start in life because, according to their web page, “proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.”
- They promote girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys.
- They act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness.
- They work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people because it is right to keep them from harm and enable them to protect others.
- They work to create a protective environment for children. They are present to relieve suffering during emergencies, and wherever children are threatened, because no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.
UNICEF headquarters are in New York. 88 per cent of the organization’s posts are located in the field. There are eight regional offices and country offices worldwide. They also have a research center in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo and Brussels.
According to their web-site:
UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China. Its full name was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. In 1950, its mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children’s Fund. However, UNICEF retained its original acronym.
UNICEF has many Goodwill Ambassadors and Advocates that help bring the needs of the children into the public attention. Because celebrities attract attention, they are able to attract the public to the needs of children throughout the world. They are able to use their talents and fame for fundraising and also to educate the general public on the UNICEF mission.
The celebrities chosen to work with UNICEF have a commitment to improve the lives of children throughout the world. In every case, a celebrity’s work with UNICEF comes about because they have already demonstrated that commitment.
Clay Aiken became an Ambassador for UNICEF in 2004. He joined a very special group of people that includes former ambassadors, Danny Kaye and Aubrey Hepburn. Today, some other ambassadors are Sarah Jessica Parker, Lucy Liu, and Orlando Bloom.
Clay has visited many countries for UNICEF. He does not seem to be afraid to visit any country that needs his help. I am sure that UNICEF is glad to have Clay Aiken helping children all over the world on their behalf.