Thursday, May 3, 2007

American Idols to help Uganda

Judge Simon Cowell (Pix)

Last night during the American Idol show on M-Net, I felt good to see a clip of the reality show’s judge Simon Cowell and show host Ryan in Kenya, featuring UNICEF’s “school in a box” education kit.
Simon Cowell is known for his overly harsh reputation but he revealed his softer side while he was with those children in Kenya talking about education. I mean, the children were impecunious and what happened to Simon could have happen to any other considerate human being on meeting them.
UNICEF’s “school in the box” is an innovative way to ensure that kids receive an education no matter what circumstances they face. The kit is essentially a portable school that can teach 80 kids, for only $183 (approximately Shs318,420).
However, Simon and Ryan’s trip was part of the “Idol Gives Back” effort where the American Idol show help raise funds to avert poverty in the U.S. and Africa.
In Kenya the stars talked about their plans to help Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya because this was an East African trip. They talked about poverty in East Africa as a whole but they mostly stressed the issue of Aids in Uganda. Uganda has for many years a giant in the fight against the pandemic and there has been no time when it has missed out on the list of the best countries in combating HIV/Aids.
Meanwhile, the previous American Idol show had footages of Simon playing with underprivileged children in Gabon. He gave them books, chalk, mathematics sets and all the school equipments would imagine.
Big celebrities, from actors to singers and tycoons have already joined the project.
And the public can be involved directly involved during the April 24-25 show. This is how it worked: for each vote sent on April 24, a donation was made to fight poverty, and on April 25 viewers phoned in their donations directly.American Idol has 35 million viewers, and to reach the target amount $50 million (approximately Shs87 billion), that’s just $1.42 (Shs2,470.8) per viewer. That is very achievable.

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