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April 21, 10

NEWS / UN Foundation takes centre stage on special American Idol episode

21 April 2010 – Millions of viewers of the top-rating televised singing competition American Idol will have the opportunity tonight to contribute to United Nations Foundation (UNF) programmes worldwide, ranging from helping Haiti rebuild in the wake of the devastating earthquake to empowering Ethiopian women and girls.

Tonight’s two-hour Idol Gives Back episode will showcase performances and appearances by some of Hollywood’s greatest stars. In past years, the special episode has featured United States President Barack Obama, United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, actor Brad Pitt, singer Mariah Carey, and a host of other prominent figures.

“We hope that the show will raise awareness of the good work of the UN around the world,” Robert Skinner, Associate Director of UNF’s New York office, told the UN News Centre.

Season 7 Idol winner David Cook has recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia with UNF to visit its Biruh Tesfa (“bright futures”) project, which provides literacy training for young women.

For his part, Kris Allen, last season’s winner, visited Haiti in February to meet with locals and UN staff on the ground to find out the needs for the coming months after the massive 7.0-magnitude quake which struck the country in January.

Along with UNF, four other charities – the Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More and Save the Children’s United States Programmes – have been selected as beneficiaries for this year’s special event.

Past Idol Gives Back episodes have generated $140 million for different causes across the US and around the world, and viewers are being encouraged this year to organize their friends and utilize social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to raise more money.




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