Clay Aiken Blogs on Somalia as Unicef Ambassador

Clay Aiken blogs on the current state of the African nation Somalia as Unicef Ambassador for Huffington Post. Last year,   Clay spent five days in northwest Somalia.

He reports that while the situation there is still grim, it’s not without hope.     via ONTD_ai.

  • Excerpt below. Read more HERE at the Huffington Post

Progress in Somalia Despite Difficult Circumstances

This past November, while we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a grim milestone was reached in the east African nation of Somalia. The conflict and instability which has characterized that nation for the past 20 years has produced a generation in its central southern province that has never known peace.

In this season of peace and goodwill, this jarring reality should spur us to action so that future generations are not lost.

The mere mention of Somalia conjures in the mind of everyday Americans a place where lawlessness reigns. Indeed, the perception is that no other country has done more to place the issue of maritime piracy at the forefront of our minds and within our headlines.

While this may be true…it’s certainly not the whole story.

There are, however, glimmers of hope. For one, the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has made overtures to place the well-being of children on its emerging social service agenda.

One significant achievement the country boasts is that it has remained polio free since 2007. Also, despite a prolonged drought affecting over 1.4 million, including 700,000 children, there is visible evidence of declining malnutrition rates. This year, in fact, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) have reported that they’re on track to reach up to 50,000 severely malnourished children — more than double those reached in 2008.

In addition, through the Child Health Days initiative, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) were able to deliver low-cost, high-impact health packages this year to over one million children under the age of five. These interventions included immunization, vitamin A supplementation, de-worming tablets and oral rehydration salts to combat diarrhea caused by contaminated water.

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  • Sue123

    It always makes me happy to see people doing good work and trying to make a difference. Thanks to Clay and everyone involved at UNICEF for their work on behalf of the children of the world.

    Well written and thought provoking.

  • JeanCo

    Kudos Clay for bringing this important issue to the forefront. It’s gratifying to see our Idols making a difference with their celebrity. Clay Aiken has certainly been a strong advocate for children throughout the world during these past years in the spotlight. I love when I see a celebrity turn a spotlight away from themselves and shine the light on a needy cause. Thank you for including this article in your blog. I hope we continue to hear more about what our idols are doing away from the stage in future blogs.

  • joanie

    What a wonderfully written, articulate article. Clay Aiken has used his “celebrity” to make a difference, especially in the lives of children throughout the world, through Unicef and in many other ways.

    Thanks for printing the article.

  • n3mover

    Very interesting article. I hope UNICEF makes it’s goal. Somalia has been a hellhole for 2 decades.

  • kuanna23

    Clay is articulate and intelligent and feels strongly about these issues.

  • kta

    I’m glad to hear there are the beginning of hope. I hope we can all make a difference and thanks Clay for sharing the story.

  • outback

    This is really sad. I can’t even imagine the conditions that these kids live in. Thanks for the information. Very informative article.

  • oceana

    I wonder how the Huffington Post is involved. I do enjoy that paper/site, so that’s cool too. And good for Clay.

  • phdrmom

    Clay certainly was serious when he said that he wanted to make a difference. I’m glad to read that there is a glimmer of hope for Somalia.

    It’s interesting that this article is from Huffington Post and not UNICEF’s blog site. I hope Clay continues to blog on Huff. Post as he is extremely articulate and passionate about children & education.

    Thanks for posting the article mj.

  • oceana

    So Clay is blogging on Huffington Post? Interesting. And kind of cool. (If you’re a liberal, which I am.)

  • Allison

    Clay’s a pretty liberal guy.