By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2012 – Actress, recording artist, designer and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez is lending her star power to UNICEF’s campaign to save lives in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
|11 April 2012: UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports on UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez's efforts to raise awareness about the crisis in the Sahel. Watch in RealPlayer|
“The situation is urgent and these children need our immediate help. I want people to know that together with UNICEF, we have the ability to prevent their deaths,” she said.
Sounding the alarm
Last week, Ms. Gomez used her Twitter account, which has more than 11 million followers, to promote ‘Sound the Alarm’, an international call to raise funds to avert the deaths of a million children from malnutrition.
“Let’s make #SahelNOW a trending topic,” she tweeted. Of the dozens of celebrities and thousands of UNICEF supporters worldwide who spread messages that day, Ms. Gomez drove the most conversations.
|11 April 2012: Actress, recording artist and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez delivers a public service announcement about the critical needs of children in the Sahel. Watch in RealPlayer|
“I have very loyal and active fans. Through social media I have a platform that enables me to reach them in real time and mobilize them to take action,” Ms. Gomez said.
Using her talents to advocate for children
Ms. Gomez followed up her online activism with a visit to UNICEF House, where she was briefed on UNICEF’s global emergency response operations and discussed the importance of social media in mobilizing and educating young people on important issues.
She also recorded a public service announcement to encourage young people to donate US$10 via text message to help avoid catastrophe in the Sahel.
|Actress, recording artist and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez receives a briefing from UNICEF Office of Emergency Programmes Deputy Director Akhil Iyer at UNICEF House.|
Ms. Gomez was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in September 2009, and she has enthusiastically used her talents to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children.
In January 2011, she performed her second annual Acoustic Charity Concert, raising US$200,000 for UNICEF programmes that provide nutrition, clean water, medicine, education, and more to children worldwide.
Food crisis in the Sahel