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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tidbit 7/12

  • From the Clayboard - Hwee tells us some great news about On My Way Here in Singapore:
    Finally OMWH is been introduce as a new song by Singapore's radio, Power 98fm. When I was driving home from work I got a real pleasant surprise, Our radio station playing OMWH. dj encourage request and vote for the song to go into their daily top 10 and weekly top 30 countdown. So excited that I can't wait to get home to sms clayfans.
  • Lycos 50 - Clay is #3 on the Lycos Top 50 list this week. His listing says, "Clay Aiken-Visiting Somalia".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clay's UNICEF Appeal for Somalia

Clay is making a personal e-mail appeal on behalf of UNICEF to help the children of Somalia. Earlier this month, he had the opportunity to travel to the African country to see first hand the poverty that is faced each and everyday by Somalian children. Please open your wallets and hearts to help in any way that you can. For more information, visit UNICEF USA's website.

Dear [Name],

As you may have heard, I've been visiting UNICEF field locations in northwest Somalia. Today, I would like to share some of my experiences and ask for your help.

Without a permanent central government, Somalia has become one of the poorest and most volatile countries in the world. Currently less than 25 percent of the population has access to basic health services, less than 30 percent of children attend primary school and only 29 percent have access to a safe water source.

Thankfully UNICEF is there, and has been present in the region since 1972, to provide support for the most vulnerable children. I witnessed children attending UNICEF-sponsored schools, nutritional feedings and immunizations at UNICEF health clinics. The good news is that these programs are working, saving children's lives.

We've been so successful helping kids in the past-thank you.

Please join me in making a donation today to aid the children of Somalia.


Clay Aiken, UNICEF Ambassador

Sun Sentinel - Celebrity Travel with Clay Aiken!

The Sun Sentinel features Clay in their feature on "Celebrity travel". Clay was interviewed about his UNICEF trip last year to Afghanistan:

As a UNICEF ambassador, Clay Aiken gets to travel the world. The singer says one of his favorite countries has also been one of the most unlikely: Afghanistan. (Eric Ogden/Tribune Media Service)

Clay Aiken is in the news a lot these days. Besides getting good reviews for his performance in the Broadway musical "Spamalot," the former " American Idol" contestant is busy promoting his latest album "On My Way Here."

But the congenial redhead is keeping mum about the juicy tidbit that has the tabloids drooling: becoming a baby daddy with his good friend Jaymes Foster, who also executive produced his CD. Aiken is more vocal about his love of music and traveling. "There are no plans to tour at this time," says Aiken, 29. "I'd love to tour but there's just no time right now with all the other things going on. I think I've had just one day off in the past few months. It's crazy, but in a good way." 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.

WHY AFGHANISTAN: Honestly, I prefer to go to places where no one else goes that haven't been ruined by the touristy thing. I don't know if I would've ever gone to Afghanistan if it hadn't been for my work with UNICEF, but it has been one of my favorite places I've ever been in my life. I stayed eight days there in the central highlands of the country in an area that was relatively fortunate when it came to Taliban attacks. Bamyan is in the central part of the mountains and it is just such a beautiful area.

FAVORITE MEMORIES: I remember going to vacation bible school as a kid and reading about how people lived in biblical times with earthen huts and traveling on horses. I remembered that when I walked around Bamyan. You walk around town and all these huts have satellite dishes on top of them and everyone has cell phones, but a lot of people still sleep on their floors. It's a fascinating combination of new and old. The people there were so nice and welcoming.


Clay To Speak on Special UNICEF/Delta Kappa Gamma CD

Here's some news about a special UNICEF CD that Clay will be a part of! According to the Clackhouse via The Clayboard, a special announcement will be made this month about a CD produced by Delta Kappa Gamma and UNICEF where though Clay will not sing, he will speak about Afghanistan. The CD will be sold to raise funds for The Afghan Teacher Training Project. Delta Kappa Gamma is a professional honor society of women educators who is involved in this project. Janice Moen, the International Music Representative of the society, has written the following information about the CD on her blog called Moen's Musical Moments:

Music for the Afghan Teacher Training Project

There will be an exciting announcement made in Chicago this July. Delta Kappa Gamma has teamed with UNICEF to produce a CD that will serve as a fund-raiser for the Afghan Teacher Training Project. We are so excited to tell you all about it. The CD features the song "We Sing for the Children" which Northwest members sang in Vancouver, B.C. last summer. There is an update on the work being done in Afghanistan and interviews with Afghan teachers, UNICEF staff and the popular singing star Clay Aiken. You will be able to get a CD by making a donation of $15.00 or more at the convention.
In addition, after receiving several questions about purchasing this CD, Ms. Moen writes the following info at Moen's Musical Moments about how the CD can be purchased:
The CD will also be available after the convention. It will be sold through Delta Kappa Gamma and at the United Nations Gift Shop. All the proceeds, wherever purchased, will go to the Afghan Teacher Training Project.

Clay Aiken will only be speaking on the CD. He is a US Fund for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Here is some additional information I found online at Delta Kappa Gamma's International site about this project:
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International - Afghan Project

The current project for which Delta Kappa Gamma has partnered with UNICEF is funding for teacher training in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's education system is in a state of virtual collapse. Aside from the war damage to the country, the Taliban regime barred girls from the classroom and prevented the majority of teachers, who are women, from working. As an international women's organization dedicated to excellence in education, an opportunity exists for Delta Kappa Gamma to become a key partner in improving the education of hundreds of thousands of Afghan children.

Members of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International are invited to join the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support a partnership in education which includes a compelling training program for educators in Afghanistan. UNICEF has been entrusted by the Government of Afghanistan and the Ministry of Education to play a major role in the reconstruction of the national educational system.

Please download and print out the US Fund for UNICEF's brochure, which contains a contribution form and give as generously as you can to this worthy project.

Clay couldn't be working with a better organization!

As more information becomes available about this project, we'll let you know.

Tidbits 7/11

  • press release - a survey of summer pop culture -
    Speaking of American Idol, respondents' favorite AI songbird is Kelly Clarkson, who won with 53% of the vote when pitted against Carrie Underwood (47%). Chris Daughtry (51%) is the better rocker by a hair when compared to current champ David Cook (49%), and the better balladeer award goes to Clay Aiken (84%) over David Archuleta (16%). The clear winner in the soulful category is newly married Ruben Studdard (85%), who triumphed over Fantasia (15%).
  • The Windy Citizen - random mention ... sports -
    Over at Bleed Cubbie Blue, commentors had plenty of ideas, but the best was probably Tom Selleck as Bob Brenly and Clay Aiken as Len Casper (even though that's somewhat unfair to Len). Now we just have to figure out who would play Pat Hughes and Ron Santo.
  • Kennebec Journal - article about Neil Sedaka -
    Last fall, the Lincoln Center in New York City hosted a concert honoring him and his career. Guests included the Captain and Tennille -- the 70s duo that had a hit with "Love Will Keep Us Together" -- Natalie Cole, Connie Frances and "American Idol" champ Clay Aiken.
CDD Blogwatch

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Clay's First Field Notes Posted at UNICEF Website

On Tuesday, UNICEF posted the first of several Field Notes that Clay will write about his trip to Somalia, along with these two wonderful pictures of him with the Somalian children Read what Clay has to say below:

Somalia: Where is the outrage?
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 starters, the lack of a permanent central government has contributed to Somalia's status as one of the poorest and most volatile countries in the world. Decades of civil conflict have shattered social structures and exacerbated poverty.

In such conditions—combined with an extremely arid environment and difficult terrain with settlements scattered over vast distances—a Somali child's chances of surviving to adulthood are among the lowest of children anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, UNICEF is there. It has been on the ground since 1972 and is the humanitarian organization with the largest presence in Somalia.

Since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, UNICEF has continued to provide services to children and women in Somalia.

In Hargeisa, I visited UNICEF-supported schools and hospitals, as well as places girls are able to learn about leadership, get life-skills and play sports. I also visited UNICEF-supported maternal and child health clinics to observe some nutritional feeding and immunization activities. The good news is that these programs are working in the northwest and keeping children alive. The bad news is that one in eight children still dies before his or her fifth birthday in Somalia.

One of the most incredible things I learned on my trip is that there are only 350 doctors left in the entire country, mostly because of the violence and insecurity. And many of these doctors are older than the average life expectancy in Somalia, which is only 45. I can't help but wonder, what is going to happen in a couple of years when there are no more doctors? What will happen to the children who struggle to survive?

What disturbs me most about this terrible situation for children is that most of the world has ignored it. Millions of children live in fear and poverty—where is the outrage?

At least we know something can be done. Help UNICEF save and improve the lives of children in Somalia. Donate online, right now.

Tags:child survival Clay Aiken education field visit girls Somalia
Posted by Clay Aiken, UNICEF Ambassador on July 9, 2008 7:00 AM | Permalink
Clay will be writing more field notes (blogs), and CDD will post each one here for you to read.

To make a donation for the children of Somalia, go to UNICEF's DONATION PAGE. You will be helping to save the life of a child.

Sun-Sentinel Reports On Clay's Travels To Afghanistan

The Sun-Sentinel's Jae-Ha Kim apparently writes articles about celebrity travel. In the July 6 edition, she writes about Clay's travels to Afghanistan with UNICEF. She starts out her article by saying:

As a UNICEF ambassador, Clay Aiken gets to travel the world. The singer says one of his favorite countries has also been one of the most unlikely: Afghanistan.
Before talking about his journeys, Clay first says that there are no plans for a tour right now...that he is just too busy right now.
"I'd love to tour but there's just no time right now with all the other things going on. I think I've had just one day off in the past few months. It's crazy, but in a good way."
Then the rest of the article tells us a little about his trip to Afghanistan. She asks him why, what his favorite memories are, about roughing it, and sightseeing.

In a nutshell, Clay says that Afghanistan was one of his favorite places to go. He says the people were very nice and there is a good mixture of both old and new there. Where he stayed was nice and quiet, as well as "bare bones". And Clay prefers to see real life in action rather than go sightseeing.

To read the entire article go to Its a great read.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TBAF Announces 2nd Annual Golfing for Inclusion

This year's first Bubel Aiken Foundation Golfing for Inclusion was such a massive fundraising success that the TBAF is now making turning it into an annual event.

The 2009 event, to be held on January 26, 2009, will once again be hosted by the Mirasol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. More information will be posted to the Bubel Aiken Foundation website in the near future.

Tidbit 7/8

  • New York Magazine - Regis Philbin -
    At a party fĂȘting Kelly Ripa for being on the July cover of Hamptons (and in which she said that Clay Aiken would be "a great father"), Regis Philbin said his favorite bathing suit is a Speedo.
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Jonas Brothers take on their tween fans -
    Now working with producer John Fields (Mandy Moore, Clay Aiken and Pink) and Robert Schwartzman (a member of the Hollywood Coppola clan who fronts the band Rooney), the Jo Bros are making well-crafted power pop that pushes all the right buttons — in the right order.
  • Reality TV World - Former Idols perform at San Francisco show -
    The Chronicle said also noted that while former "Idol" contestants Chris Daughtry and Clay Aiken remain the most successful non-winning finalists to date, other finalists from the series are taking part in an "Idols" tour taking part this summer.
CDD Blogwatch

Sunday, July 06, 2008

CNN Special Focuses on UNICEF's Role in Saving Children's Lives

The CNN Special, The Survival Project: One Child at a Time, aired Sunday night and focused on four areas where UNICEF is reaching out to save the lives of young children. Those areas discussed are:

  • Child protection in Iraq
  • Water and sanitation in Laos
  • HIV/AIDS prevention in Peru
  • Child survival interventions in Ethiopia has some very good information about all four areas that were discussed, including links to other sites and videos. Also included are links to various organizations who are working with children around the world. To donate to UNICEF, go to their donation page and you can help save the life of a child with your gift.

Clay appeared in a short segment of the show, along with other UNICEF ambassadors, and gave a brief description of why he works with Unicef and why the work is important. To download Clay's part, go to Clack Unlimited.

Clayscience at The Clayboard has put together a summary of the CNN show. As you read it, remember, UNICEF needs our help to save the children around the world from dieing. Every little bit helps.
The first segment - clean tap water projects in Laos. A family who lost a 2 year old to illness because of contaminated water was the focus. The village now has a simple $5000 clean water tap thanks to Unicef.

Second segment focused on HIV / AIDS prevention in children, using Peru as an example. 2 million children at risk of infection in world, most in Subharan Africa. In Peru, there are 1500 cases of maternal to child transmission. There is mandatory testing there now. An example was made of a young mother who had two children. She passed HIV to her older child during childbirth. That was prevented in her younger child by the use of C-section (avoiding the greatest risk of transmission during vaginal birth), by no breast feeding for six months (also a risk of transmission) and by putting the child on prophylactic anti-retrovirals.

The commentators were Lucy Liu and Vivian Lopez, regional advisor, HIV/AIDS. The treatment and testing rates have been doubled in the past two years.

Celebrities - Clay, Dale Haddon, Al Roker, Ne-Yo, Nicole Ritchie, Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Samuelson give brief introduction on why they work with Unicef and why the work is important. A new celebrity ambassador to be introduced later.

3rd segment - Iraq and casualties of war.

Worldwide - 2 million children dead due to conflict in last decade, 1 million orphaned.

Kareem - has to sell gasoline on street to support family to provide $1 per day for each of mom and 3 siblings. Dad was killed in conflict. Kareem is only source of support and is not in school or sports.

2007 - 1.2 million Iraqui children forced from homes, 70,000 new widows. 14 million children at need in Iraq.

Unicef is vaccinating children against polio and measles.

Luciano Calistini, an emergency specialist, was panelist. Noted Iraq is the most difficult country to assure safety for Unicef staff. Noted that people need to turn their "anger into action", becoming activists, fundraisers.

Ethiopia, one of highest child mortality rates due to malnutrition.

Unicef training 30,000 young women in an outreach effort. They go to villages, use a simple tool to measure bicep to determine malnutrition -with green as okay and red as malnourished (less than month to live)

6 million children in drought areas, food more difficult to buy due to rising costs, hurting Unicef's efforts

New health workers refer children to clinics. Example of young mother receiving "Plumpy'nut" nutritional high energy peanut paste supplement for her child.

Dr. Nicholas Alahui was panelist, discussed highlighting successes, gave example of how tiny arm is that shows malnutrition.

New celebrity ambassador introduced - Joel Madden of group Good Charlotte, has been involved in efforts to help children, now honored to be invited by Unicef to be ambassador.

Ishmael Beah, former child soldier, from Sierra Leone.

Rescued by Unicef, now a Unicef advocate for children affected by war.

Does public speaking to highlight this problem. It's difficult for him to relive the memories and talk about the war, but says without Unicef he wouldn't be there.

Wrote a book - Memoirs of a Child Soldier

book is available on Amazon

Close of show - how to help.

Urged people to go to to see ways to help and list of organizations (not just Unicef).

Ann M. Veneman of Unicef noted Americans are generous and most generous nation in world.

At present, 9.7 million children die yearly of preventable causes. But this is an improvement from the former 13 million per year.

Carol Stern of Unicef noted that Unicef would continue fundraising efforts - being in supermarkets, schools, etc to highlight efforts and improve fundraising.

CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF