UNICEF was created in 1946 by the United Nations General Assembly to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries devastated by World War Two.
Since then, the UN program has furnished long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to millions of children and mothers in more than 190 countries.
This week on Full Frame, we’ll meet three of UNICEF’s celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors to learn how they’ve used their fame and fortune to advocate on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
Angelique Kidjo: Educating Africa’s girls
Beninese-born Angelique Kidjo is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and activist. Her creativity and unique musical style has captivated audiences around the globe.
Universally regarded as one of the world’s most influential African artists, Angelique has used her global status as a platform for change. In 2002, she was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Five years later, in 2007, she founded The Batonga Foundation, which funds education for girls in Africa. She also advocates for a number of other causes, including Human Rights and Women’s Rights, and has worked in the communities of several countries across Africa.
Along the way, she’s captured about every award in existence. Recently, the World Economic Forum handed her the 2015 Crystal Award. The Guardian Newspaper lists her as one of the top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.
Kidjo joins Mike Walter in our New York City studios to share more about her music and activism.
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Judy Collins: Legend opposes landmines
Judy Collins is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has captivated audiences with her signature sublime voice, and social activism, for more than four decades. Her 1968 single “Both Sides Now” won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance, and in 2003, she was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. She has been called one of the pioneer voices of American folk music.
Collins is also the author of several books. In her memoirs, she has shared her struggles with alcoholism, drug abuse, bulimia and the loss of a child to suicide. Her most recent book is titled Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music.
Since 1995, Collins has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has traveled extensively supporting projects around the world. She continues to raise funds for the UNICEF National Committees, donating proceeds from her concerts and royalties from guitar sales.
Judy Collins joins Mike Walter in our New York City studios to discuss her career, her activism, and her work with UNICEF.
Yang Lan: China’s first UNICEF Ambassador
She’s been called “the Oprah of China”. Forbes magazine named Chinese journalist and media entrepreneur, Yang Lan, one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In China, her name is practically synonymous with entertainment. She’s the co-founder of one of the country’s largest private media companies. And she’s committed to creating programming that encourages the continuing growth of Chinese culture and offering an international platform for cultural exchanges. Her signature television show, Yang Lan: One-on-One has become China’s longest-running talk show.
In addition, Yang Lan has served as a cross-cultural ambassador for China, playing an important part in Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. A dedicated philanthropist, she’s served as a UNICEF Ambassador for China since 2010 and has dedicated her own foundation to the growth of civil society.
Recently, CCTV’s May Lee had a chance to sit down with the legendary Yang Lan at the 2015 annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Bob Ezrin: Heavy metal meets Mongolian folk music
What happens when you get one of the most talented and celebrated music producers in the world and pair him with a traditional Mongolian group — which has a little more than a hint of heavy metal? The end product of this union may just put the band Hanggai in the rock music history books.
Canadian record producer Bob Ezrin is a musical genius, best known for producing some of the most successful albums in rock history, including Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Kiss’ Destroyer and Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare.
But Ezrin’s chance meeting, in China, with the band leader of Hanggai, led to a unique collaboration. His task was to meld the folk group’s traditional Mongolian instruments and vocals, which include the ancient art of throat singing, with the driving electric guitars and the heavy-metal edge the band loves. It’s a unique sound that may never be mainstream — but it’s definitely worth a listen — and chances are — it will make it on to your playlist as well.
Full Frame contributor Sean Callebs had exclusive access as the band and the producer jammed in the studio.
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