UNICEF Egypt renews Khaled Abol Naga’s Appointment as Goodwill Ambassador
Cairo, April 21st 2008: Egyptian young movie star Khaled Abol Naga and UNICEF have renewed their partnership for children for the second consecutive year.
Mr. Abol Naga’s appointment as UNICEF Egypt Goodwill Ambassador was first signed in March 2007. During this year, Mr. Abol Naga has addressed several issues affecting children in Egypt including HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, street children and adolescents’ development.
Mr. Abol Naga has shown constant commitment to creating awareness on HIV/AIDS. He has spoken out on issues of stigma and discrimination through his appearance in television interviews, radio public service announcement, seminars and public events. He also met with people living with HIV to discuss their needs and concerns.
For Mr. Abol Naga this has been an eye-opening experience: “My initial aim was to address issues that are normally found by people as hard to talk about. Through my visits over the past year to UNICEF-supported projects, I was inspired by the passion and commitment of young people to make a real change. What I feel we need to do is to ensure that more people participate in these projects and I am committed to playing an active part in making this happen.”
Standing up against female genital mutilation is another area that Mr. Abol Naga has been involved in. He visited UNICEF’s partner NGOs in Upper Egypt where he met with volunteers and youth to discuss the harms of the practice.
Changing society’s views on street children is also a cause that the Goodwill Ambassador has taken on. At a UNICEF-supported event held this year by 40 NGOs in solidarity with children in street situations, Mr. Abol Naga highlighted the forms of abuse and violence that the children in street situations face everyday. “All what these children want from us is to love them. We should take the time to get to know them, not ignore them or push them away” said Mr. Abol Naga.
UNICEF works globally with many celebrities, with wide ranges of talents and achievements, but who all have one common feature which is their commitment to improving the lives of children. Goodwill Ambassadors work on voluntary basis with UNICEF to attract people’s attention to children’s issues, and make valuable contributions to the organization’s efforts in highlighting the situation of children and their needs.
Iman Morooka, Communication Officer, UNICEF Egypt