Friday, 2 April 2010


David joins an English class during a visit to Biruh Tesfa, a United Nations program supported by the UN Foundation.

American Idol winner David Cook and his guitarist, Neal Tiemann, took part in the Idol Gives Back special where he visited Ethiopia.
In a press conference from the country on Wednesday, March 31, the singer shared that he has "been extremely moved by this trip. It's been a huge learning experience for me."

David Cook receives a hug from 7-year-old Mekdes during a visit to Biruh Tesfa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 30, 2010

Witnessing firsthand United Nations Foundation's Biruh Tesfa project to provide education and opportunities to the young girls in the region, David opened up about a young girl that caught his attention. "She's a 7-year-old girl named Magdas. Both of her parents have passed away, and she's been at this school for seven months," he explained as quoted by Zap2It.
"She's one of the most vibrant, joyous girls I've ever met," David added when recollecting his impression of the little girl. He further continued explaining, "The girls at the school want to learn, to have better education, to have that opportunity. That's inspiring, to see a seven-year-old girl want to build a better future for herself."
The 27-year-old went on to assure people that a donation of $5 through the "Idol Gives Back" program can provide an underprivileged girl with the uniform and notebook required to attend school.
David and guitarist Neal Tiemann perform for students of Biruh Tesfa

His first impression of Ethiopia? “I have to say, I was completely shocked by this country in an extremely positive way. When you hear Africa, I immediately think impoverished and everything that goes with that. But I came here, and the people here are so amazingly sweet. They are such nice people, very accommodating and get that we are out here trying to help. The city itself, Addis Ababa, is beautiful -- really lush, very green. It definitely has an infrastructure in place. I think it’s just a matter that they just need that kind of boost in the right direction.

Credit: Stuart Ramson / UN Foundation