Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Idol Who Gives Back

Clay Aiken just concluded his most recent UNICEF mission. This time he went to Afghanistan to visit schools that have implemented programs meant to ensure that all children regardless of gender receive an education. He also visited health clinics where he observed immunization team volunteers administering polio vaccines to children and participated by giving the vaccine to a newborn baby. He visited literary centers for adult women who are learning to read and write for the first time. Under Taliban rule females were forbidden from attending school or learning to read. Females were punished if caught teaching or attending underground classes. Some have even been executed.

Relief workers within Afghanistan and from organizations like UNICEF have been working to supply teachers and students of both genders with the materials they need to conduct classes. They have built schools and trained teachers, most notably female teachers.

UNICEF in Afghanistan

UNICEF has been working for the survival and development of children in Afghanistan since 1949.

Last month, the Government of Afghanistan honored UNICEF's extraordinary work in the field of education, which has helped hundreds of thousands of children return to school, trained thousands of teachers, and built hundreds of schools.

Other recent accomplishments include:

Five new salt iodization plants are helping to reduce iodine deficiency, while therapeutic feeding programs in 20 hospitals have been created to combat malnutrition.

Half a million Afghanis have gained access to safe water and sanitary latrines. A million people benefited from education on hand-washing and hygienic water use.

Mine-risk education programs have reached nearly a million people, reducing landmine-related accidents by 10 percent.

Nearly 3,500 former child soldiers have been reintegrated into family settings.

You can read the press release on the UNICEF website for more details on the mission.

Clay and UNICEF have also put out a call for donations to benefit these programs and initiatives in Afghanistan.

Clay Aiken's Afghanistan Appeal: $100,000 in 10 days!

"I've just returned from Afghanistan and see that the need is urgent. Let's aim high and work together to raise $100,000 in 10 days. Join me in standing with UNICEF to help these kids."

Click to donate!

As for the "Idol Gives Back" show...they can bite me. I'm sending my money where I know it will do good and I don't have to wonder why a guy like Simon Cowell who hates kids by his own admission is shilling for ratings for the American Idol show by pretending he gives a damn. According to a recent P.E.T.A ad discouraging people from leaving their dogs in a car:

"Everyone should love animals," said Cowell. "If you're good to animals, your life will be good. And my life is good because I've been good to animals. If I see a baby, it's a baby. If I see a puppy, it's a whole different ball game."

Now I'm all for protecting animals from cruelty but I'm sorry, Simon Cowell is an ass!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again

Ah, the good old days, when singers sang their hearts out on American Idol and there was an innocence and sincerity to it all.

I watched a few episodes this year and I am so over this show that I needed to watch Clay Aiken's journey to clear my palate. This year they are going through the motions but the thrill is gone. The show has reached its saturation point for me and these performances bring me back to remembering why Clay Aiken is still the best thing that ever happened to AI. This is the level of talent that is missing this year. The goosebump inducing joy of discovering a great voice and watching this guy develop his style and becoming a STAR!

Open Arms

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Sugarpie Honeybunch

Somewhere Out There

Someone Else's Star

Everlasting Love

At This Moment

Tell Her About It

I Could Not Ask For More

Build Me Up Buttercup


To Love Somebody



Mack The Knife

Unchained Melody

This Is The Night

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Ain't No Stoppin'Us Now

Solitaire 2004

Fantasy 2004

AI5 Clay Surprises a Fan