ADDIS ABABA (AA) – The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday appointed Abelone Melesse, a young Norwegian rap star of Ethiopian descent, as its new national ambassador to Ethiopia.
“As national ambassador, Abelone will focus her outreach particularly on children and adolescents, with a special focus on girls and women,” Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF’s acting Ethiopia representative, said on the occasion of the appointment.
“The role of the ambassadors is to increase public awareness on the rights of children and women and of UNICEF’s work protecting those rights,” Di Giovanni added.
Melesse, 20, expressed her pleasure with the appointment, saying that music had helped her become a “voice for the voiceless.”
“I sing and convey messages to improve maternal health and protect the rights of children because I know Ethiopian culture; I can help the children and aspire to help the children of the world,” she said.
Born of Ethiopian parents, Melesse has received extensive publicity in Ethiopia and Norway after appearing on a Norwegian talent show earlier this year.
Di Giovanni said UNICEF-Ethiopia had chosen Melesse as its new ambassador because she had shown “passion and commitment” regarding UNICEF’s work and because of her ability to reach out to young audiences.
UNICEF works with 30 international, 200 national and 11 regional “goodwill ambassadors” around the world, Di Giovanni noted.
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