|ICC Cricket World Cup goes to bat for children affected by AIDS||19 March 2007|
Cricket’s most prestigious event, the ICC Cricket World Cup, opened with a colourful ceremony at Jamaica’s Trelawny Stadium. But amidst the revelry there was also a sense of purpose, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) went to bat for children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS.
It’s all part of a new partnership between the ICC, UNICEF, UNAIDS and the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership. While the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will see the world’s top 16 teams do battle on the field, they will be as one in supporting the Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS campaign off the field.
The cricket partnership brings new global attention to the campaign, which aims to ensure the rights of 2.3 million children under the age of 15 who are living with HIV and 15.2 million youths under 18 who have been orphaned by AIDS.
Between now and the ICC Cricket World Cup final in Barbados on 28 April, players and officials from each team will wear the red-and-blue AIDS campaign ribbon and visit UNICEF-funded HIV/AIDS programmes throughout the Caribbean. Meanwhile, a series of AIDS-awareness public service announcements featuring 28 of the world’s top cricketers will be broadcast on TV and shown at the matches.
“The spirit of cricket is a special part of our game and is a concept that stretches beyond the boundaries of the outfield,” said ICC President Percy Sonn. “We hope the range of activities delivered at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will make a difference to raising awareness and reducing stigma around HIV.”
To mark the start of the games, UNICEF has re-launched the AIDS campaign website with a special cricket section featuring news updates and video profiles of players talking about the impact of AIDS on children.
“Children have been the missing face of the AIDS pandemic,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “The International Cricket Council will be a powerful ally in ensuring that children are at the heart of the global response to the epidemic.”
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