|© UNICEF/HQ 96-0885/Linh|
|"Everywhere I went, I realized that children are society's victims. … We have a duty to speak to political leaders, to influence people to give these children a better future." - Nana Mouskouri|
Nana Mouskouri, internationally acclaimed singer and humanitarian, was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in October 1993. "I always try to see things with children's eyes," she wrote in 1997, "Are they happy? Sad? What do they need?”
Ms. Mouskouri is a veteran child rights advocate. Her first trips as Goodwill Ambassador were to Mexico (1994), Chile (1995) and Viet Nam (1996) where she visited UNICEF-supported projects, met with government officials and performed in concerts that benefited UNICEF programmes.
Ms. Mouskouri has met with children who were displaced by armed conflict and urgently needed assistance and protection. She has made generous financial contributions to UNICEF-supported programmes in Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Viet Nam, Bulgaria and Russia. After a catastrophic earthquake in Greece in 1999, Ms. Mouskouri visited camps for displaced persons and distributed school supplies to children.
The singer, who is fluent in English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish, makes personal appeals in her concerts and in media interviews for support to UNICEF. Over the years, she has promoted the fundraising and advocacy work of many UNICEF National Committees.
Nana Mouskouri was born in Greece. She studied voice and piano at the Athens Conservatory before making her debut at a tavern in Plaka. Shortly afterwards, she won first prize in a Greek song festival, the first of many awards. With more than 300 gold and platinum records, Ms. Mouskouri is one of the best-selling female artists of all time.
She has performed in the world's most prestigious concert halls, among them the Royal Albert Hall (London), the Olympia (Paris), Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Centre (New York), the Opera House in Sydney and Herod Atticus (Athens).
Nana Mouskouri was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1986) and France’s Légion d’Honneur (1997). Also in 1997, Harry Belafonte presented Ms. Mouskouri with the US Fund for UNICEF’s World of Children Award. In April 2003, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Athens, Greece; and that October, UNICEF honoured her for 10 years of dedicated service to children. In December 2003, she received the UNICEF Goodwill Laureate award.
Her other awards include Médaille de Vermeil, Paris (2005); L’ordre de Bienfaisance, received in Greece from the president (2006); Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (2006); Gran Cruz de Placa de Plata from the President of Dominican Republic (2007); Golden Medal of Athens (2008).
Nana Mouskouri lives in France and Switzerland.