Clay Aiken's Mission
|Clay Aiken visits with children in Uganda, 2005. (Photo: Guillaume Bonn)|
In 2004, UNICEF appointed Clay Aiken as an Ambassador. In this role, Clay has embraced UNICEF’s mission to save the lives of children. Part of his role as a UNICEF Ambassador is to stay informed about children’s issues, visit UNICEF field projects, and represent UNICEF before government.
Read this interview to learn about Clay’s experiences and log on to www.unicefusa.org to find out about UNICEF’s work and how you can get involved in this amazing effort!
What is the mission of UNICEF and why is it important to you?
In my opinion, there are very few issues in the world that are as important—and solvable—as saving the world’s children. For 60 years, working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children’s rights, saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization.
Name one small way and one big way you help to promote UNICEF.
One small way I help is by encouraging people to support UNICEF. Every penny counts! UNICEF uses the money it raises to help improve kids’ lives around the world. It doesn’t take much money to help a child live a better life. For instance, just $2.50 provides a child with school supplies for an entire year. More than 121 million kids around the world are not in school. UNICEF gives school supplies, trains teachers, and rebuilds schools that have been destroyed in disasters. And just $17 immunizes one child for life against six killer diseases. Many kids around the world don’t get the shots they need to protect them from dangers like measles and tetanus. UNICEF saves more than two million kids’ lives every year through immunization and medicine.
One big way I help is by attracting attention to the most neglected and forgotten emergencies. For example, I traveled to northern Uganda in 2005, where nearly 20 years of war have destroyed millions of families and their homes. There are many emergencies going on today in our world. Both young people and adults need to be educated on what is going on around the globe. In addition to being the easiest way to support UNICEF, learning more and sharing the knowledge of world events and UNICEF’s efforts to help is among the most effective means of support.
What advice can you offer to other young people who want to get involved?
Youth in the U.S. have been helping UNICEF improve the lives of their peers around the world for years. I strongly suggest they continue this tradition of youth action by learning about how children live in other parts of the world and what UNICEF is doing to help make a critical difference in their lives.