March 31st, 2010
David Cook isn’t certain whether he’ll be performing on the Idol Gives Back special, set for Wednesday, April 21.
But American Idol’s season seven winner says he’ll “do everything in my power to be present and press home the point that help is needed.”
David has spent part of this week in Ethiopia, visiting with young girls at school run as part of United Nations program and supported by the UN Foundation.
He spoke in particular of a 7-year-old he met. She lost both parents; she’s living with an aunt.
“She is one of the most vibrant, joyous girls I think I’ve ever met,” David said. “The girls at the school genuinely want to learn. They want that opportunity to improve their life.
“I remember being 7,” David added. “I didn’t have that foresight. These girls are wise beyond their years … partly because they have to be.”
A small donation can help keep those girls in school, explained Elizabeth Gore, executive director of global partnerships for the UN Foundation.
And staying in school can be the key to their future.
Girls that don’t get an education in Ethiopia are “immensely more likely to fall into the sex trade or a life of domestic servitude,” David said.
A teenager he met fled a remote area of Ethiopia to escape such a life. She’s now been at the school for five years.
Of course, there was another big difference between Ethiopia and the U.S. Young girls there aren’t exactly knowledgeable about David Cook, the American Idol.
“Very few people here know who I am,” David admitted. “We had to explain to the little girls who I was and why I was there.”
But David and guitarist Neal Tiemann got to perform for the students.
“And they sang for us,” David said. “It was nice to see music as that universal language.”
David also recalled how touched he was by the Idol Give Back episode back in season seven. He recalls sneaking onto a balcony with the other contestants.
They watched Annie Lennox play piano and sing “Many Rivers To Cross” while images of children helped by the effort flashed on the screen in the background.
“You realize, my reality is not their reality,” David said. “That puts you in a mode where you want to help. This (opportunity) couldn’t have come at a better time.” ( article cont"dCollapse )Source