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Jazz musicians use their talents to make a difference

Local jazz musicians raise $3,718 for Iraqi children

Philip Crawford of Monterey, California recently coordinated his third fundraising effort for UNICEF. He recruited musicians from Monterey and San Francisco to play a concert devoted to Duke Ellington, an influential jazz musician who performed from 1923 until 1974. Eleven musicians donated their talents for the evening, including Andy Weiss, the drummer who played with Ellington’s orchestra, and Kenny Stahl, a flautist who previously toured with Stevie Wonder.

On a Wednesday night in May, 65 people attended a benefit jazz concert at Monterey Live, a music venue in the downtown area. Attendees paid a $25 cover for the show and all proceeds were donated to UNICEF. Throughout the concert Philip spoke of the conditions Iraqi children are faced with and how extra donations would benefit them. The largest donation was $1000, given by an Iraqi attendee, while a $300 donation was made by the local Rotary Club.


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

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken recently visited the East African countries of Somalia and Kenya, where UNICEF provides children with health care, education, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. This is the last in a series of blog posts he has written about his experience in the field.

In early July, after visiting Somalia, I traveled to Eldoret, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, to visit camps for internally displaced people. This is where some of the worst violence took place following the Kenya elections in early 2008. Thousands of children were made homeless by the unrest.

Everywhere we went, there were the charcoaled remains of homes, schools and shops. We drove for hours and everywhere we went, we saw people trying to get their lives restored.


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Somalia: Keep spreading the word

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 second in a series of blog posts he will write about his experience in the field.

For children in Somalia, the situation is dire. But, it’s just amazing to me that UNICEF is still able to make a difference in children’s lives in one of the most dangerous places on earth.


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The other Jamaica

What does the word “Jamaica” conjure up in you mind? Long, glittery beaches? Azure-colored water? Fancy resorts? Those are some of the images I would have thought of until recently. But, as I’ve learned, they’re only part of Jamaica’s very complicated reality.


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© UNICEF/ HQ08-0267/Susan Markisz

You see, for years now, Jamaica

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Back to school despite all obstacles in Myanmar


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UNICEF and emergencies

— The Myanmar cyclone and the China earthquake. It’s very unusual for two natural disasters of such massive scale to occur within such a small window of time. Luckily, UNICEF is used to dealing with more than one emergency at once, while also ensuring that none of the ongoing programs in more than 150 countries where we work in suffer. I guess you could say we’re very good at multi-tasking on a global level.

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