In 2007, Clay Aiken was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Clay visited Afghanistan in April of that year. Word reached the American news media that Clay arrived in Afghanistan on April 3rd. Because of safety concerns, Clay’s visit was kept secret until he and his traveling companions were in a safe environment.
Traveling with UNICEF country representative, Catherine Mbengue and his high school teacher Mary Props, Clay visited schools in Kabul and Bamiyan.
As a former teacher, I recognize that spark of hope and excitement all children possess when given the opportunity to learn. 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.
Clay was especially excited about his visit to Bamiyan. He thought it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. He was also excited about visiting a school there where boys and girls were being educated together. Clay also visited some medical clinics in the area and was even able to administer polio vaccine to a newborn baby.
Clay reported that he felt that the greatest natural resource in Afghanistan is its people. He reported that he hoped to inform the people of the United States of the deep desire on the part of the children to learn.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about Afghanistan. And I couldn’t have been farther off target about the Afghan people. With the exception of maybe my grandparent’s house, I have never felt more welcomed. The afghan people are some of the most gracious and inviting people on Earth.
Clay and Mary Props spent almost two weeks on this fact-finding trip. When they returned, Clay reported that in Afghanistan, UNICEF had distributed teaching and learning materials to 2.71 million children and 61,780 teachers, supported Mobile School Protection Teams in 34 provinces, and trained 614 teacher trainers as well as 8,110 newly recruited female teachers.
After returning home to the United States, Clay started an appeal called “$100,000 in 10 Days.” On the 10th day, the following announcement was released by UNICEF. “Congratulations! We raised $181,783.03 for the kids of Afghanistan during this ten day campaign. That’s $80,000 more than the original goal we set for this campaign.”
Congratulations to UNICEF, Clay and many of his fans who worked together to help the children in Afghanistan. It was a good team effort.
After Clay returned home from the UNICEF trip, we found a wonderful video of the trip.
Take A Look!
Do you remember when Clay was in Afghanistan?
Thank you so very much for all of this information and the great photos of Clay’s UNICEF trip to Afghanistan! Clay was the perfect person for being a Goodwill
Ambassador. I am so proud of all that he has done over the years.
Thank you!! I hope lots will stop by. All people should know all the great things he has done.
Clay was so excited about the trip to Afghanistan and the people he met. When we see what has happened over the last year in that area of the world, it is so sad.
I remember Clay saying how beautiful the country was and how warm the people were.
Thank you for the pictures and the video. I hope the country gets better with Clay being there back then. Clay is a great person to be sent there as a teacher. I remember this. Thank you CANN.
Clay worked very hard in Afghanistan to help the children. Clay is a good man with a good heart!! Thank you CANN!!