July 23, 2008

Clay Aiken’s UNICEF field trip blog #3 : Kenya

Posted in Musings tagged , , , , at 7:51 am by myrlinn

Clay Aiken calls for Kenya’s kids to return to school


Turns out Clay visited Kenya as well as Somalia on his recent field trip for UNICEF. His blog details the plight of displaced children there. Many schools have been destroyed, so it’s quite a task getting children back to schools.

Clay writes:

Although many schools were re-opened, far fewer children are turning up for class than before. And classes are taking place in schools that have been completely destroyed. I saw children sitting on rocks and bricks—which used to make up the foundations and roofs of their schools—using them now as desks and chairs.

Fortunately, this was not the situation everywhere. In most IDP camps, UNICEF has provided classroom tents and School-in-a-Box kits, along with teaching and learning materials, and even desks and chairs.

(Source: UNICEF Fieldnotes blog – link to complete blog here)

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July 10, 2008

Clay Aiken’s UNICEF blog on Somalia: Where is the outrage?

Posted in Musings tagged , , , , , , , at 8:27 am by myrlinn

Clay writes about his trip to Somalia in a UNICEF Fieldnotes blog — “Somalia: Where’s the Outrage?” (July 9, 2008   )

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken recently returned from Somalia, where UNICEF provides children in the war-torn nation with health care, education, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. This is the first in a series of blog posts he will write about his experience in the field.

I recently returned from a UNICEF field visit that took me to northwest Somalia. What I saw there was both amazing and heartbreaking. In many ways, the children I was able to meet are doing better than their counterparts in the rest of Somalia. But in other respects, the situation there is still quite serious….

For the rest of the blog, go here: http://fieldnotes.unicefusa.org/2008/07/where_is_the_outrage_1.html

Clay in Somalia 1

Clay in Somalia 2

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Clay talks about his UNICEF trip to Afghanistan in an interview for the Sun-Sentinel (Celebrity travel: Go away with Clay Aiken, July 6, 2008 ).

A couple of snippets from the article:

A former teacher, Aiken was appointed UNICEF ambassador in 2004. Between touring and making field visits for UNICEF, Aiken has seen a good chunk of the world. But he says he will never forget the beauty and grace of Afghanistan and its people.

SIGHTSEEING: I enjoy seeing real life. I don’t really care so much about going to see all the famous sites. They’re very nice and I appreciate them when I do see them, but I don’t go out of my way to check out all the monuments. I really like to get a feel for what it would be like to live in whatever country I’m in. I was able to do that a little bit in Afghanistan. People were just so real and natural

Read the rest of the interview here: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/travel/sfl-0706celebtravel,0,6215686.story