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Jordin's no idle Idol

Jordin "American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks has really taken her act on the road in the last few days, but it’s not to promote her new album or single. She says she has found true emotion in helping malaria victims in Africa.

Sparks, who won last year’s competition of the hit reality/talent show, is in the final stages of a three-day trip to Ghana, joining President and Mrs. Bush on a campaign to highlight malaria control efforts. She is traveling with Malaria No More, a nonprofit organization working to end malaria mortality.

“This has been really a whirlwind, but I feel so good about what we’re doing,” Sparks said today, just a few hours after she and the first lady had visited a health clinic and a women’s nutrition center to see how mosquito nets are being used to prevent malaria deaths. “It was just so touching for me to see the mothers and their babies. They were so cute!”

The trip was sparked by last year’s “Idol Gives Back” charity special, which raised more than $17 million to fight malaria in Africa. Sparks said she remembers watching clips of victims during the special and “wanting so badly to help. I love children, and if I hadn’t been a singer, I wanted to be a pediatrician. So it feels good to have this opportunity to help.”

In addition to her trips to the clinics, Sparks sang the national anthem at the ambassador’s residence in Ghana.

President Bush announced today that this year’s “Idol Gives Back” special, scheduled for April 9, would once again raise funds to fight malaria in Africa.

--Greg Braxton

(Photo courtesy Charles Dharapak/AP)

 
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