Celebrities for Children: Indian Stars and Sri Lankan Cricketers team up for former child soldiers
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 2 June 2010 – Today, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) joined UNICEF and Sri Lanka Cricket in support of the ‘Cricket for Children’ initiative to reintegrate former child soldiers in their communities of origin.
The stars of Indian cinema and Sri Lanka cricket; Hrithik Roshan, Suniel Shetty and Kumar Sangakkara, will captain the three teams that will compete for the cause of children in the IIFA Celebrity Cricket Match on the 4th of June. Part of the proceeds from the match will be donated to the Sri Lanka Cricket and UNICEF ‘Cricket for Children’ initiative.
Speaking on the event, the captain of Sri Lanka’s national team, Kumar Sangakkara said ‘‘Cricket can be used as a force for change, bringing hope and healing to vulnerable children”. He will be joined by teammates Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene in Friday's star studded cricket game.
“We are harnessing the power of sport and cinema through this event, to reach out to children who have been robbed of their childhood and give them a chance for a new start in life” said UNICEF Representative for Sri Lanka, Philippe Duamelle.
Earlier this year, former child soldiers and other vulnerable children were trained as cricket Peer Leaders as part of a partnership between the ICC, Sri Lanka Cricket, Bureau of the Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, Cricket for Change and UNICEF. Beyond the game of cricket, these children also learnt the values of team work, respect and fair-play. Sri Lanka Cricket and UNICEF are now supporting the Peer Leaders to organize cricket games among youth in their communities of origin.
The Videocon IIFA Weekend and the Micromax IIFA Awards is being hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.
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