Manchester United Foundation on mission to help Malaysia’s most vulnerable young
KUALA LUMPUR, 3 March 2011 – When two of the greatest names in English soccer arrive in Kuala Lumpur next month, Manchester United Legends Bryan Robson and Andrew Cole will be on a mission to make as great an impact off the pitch as they did on, as the pair help the charitable arm of the iconic club raise approximately RM 4.9 million (£1 million) for UNICEF’s work for children in Malaysia and worldwide.
All proceeds raised at the Manchester United Foundation and UNICEF Legends Charity Dinner in Association with Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) on 8 April 2011, in Kuala Lumpur will be channelled into UNICEF projects aimed at protecting Malaysia’s most at risk young population including children from the threats of HIV and AIDS. This includes expanding current services and developing targeted policies that will seek to reverse the HIV infection rate amongst these vulnerable groups.
The gala dinner at the Mandarin Oriental is the second stop of a three-city Asian Tour, which will take Robson and Cole to Bangkok (April 6), Kuala Lumpur (April 8) and Hong Kong (April 10).
Raising money for children
A number of unique Manchester United items and experiences will be up for auction, raising money for ‘United for UNICEF’, a unique partnership between Manchester United and UNICEF since 1999.
According to Malaysia’s 2010 report to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS (UNGASS), some 2,000 adolescents in Malaysia have tested HIV-positive, while 2009 statistics showed that children below 19 years of age made up 3.1% of 3,080 new reported HIV cases that year. Amongst the vulnerabilities and situations that expose both urban and rural children to HIV infection include sexual and physical violence, incest, sex work, human trafficking, underage and unprotected sex. Children with HIV are also reported to have experienced stigma and discrimination that led to ostracisation, exploitation, becoming homeless and the loss of education.
UNICEF and key UN agencies in Malaysia are working together with government counterparts and civil society partners to develop a strategy under the National AIDS Program in support of the country’s most at risk children and young people. The strategy will include data collection, advocacy as well as engagement with affected children and youth to influence policies and services that will benefit them.
Supporting the next generation
The United for UNICEF partnership has been working to prevent further increases of the virus amongst the younger generation, by educating young people about how to protect themselves from HIV and reduce stigma and discrimination against those who are HIV-positive.
Manchester United Foundation Chief Executive John Shiels said, “The United for UNICEF partnership began in 1999 and has already raised approximately RM 9.8 million (more than £2 million). Supporting the next generation is one of Manchester United’s most important goals, and as Bryan and Andrew join us for our Asian fundraising tour, we call on all our fans in Malaysia to be a part of the cause. Together we can unite for children in Malaysia.”
UNICEF Representative to Malaysia Mr. Hans Olsen said: "We are delighted with Manchester United’s commitment to protect children from HIV, which is a terrible threat also faced by young people in Malaysia. The generosity of everyone attending the Manchester United Foundation and UNICEF Legends Charity Dinner in Association with TM is an important contribution and signal of support for UNICEF’s child protection work, ensuring that children and young people in Malaysia at risk of HIV have their rights protected."
United for UNICEF has benefitted children across the world, including many projects in Asia. The partnership has helped build schools in Myanmar and has protected women and children against trafficking in China. In Malaysia, UNICEF projects have included a HIV and AIDS public awareness program to empower young Malaysians with knowledge to make decisions that can protect their lives. Other programs include the “Positive Living” project to support children with HIV and AIDS and which was visited in 2009 by UNICEF Ambassador Ryan Giggs and his Manchester United teammates Patrice Evra and Federico Macheda.
Each gala dinner will give Manchester United fans the opportunity to meet two of Old Trafford’s greatest heroes: ‘Captain Marvel’, Bryan Robson, is the longest serving captain in the club’s history and current manager of the Thailand national team, while treble winner, Andrew Cole, is the second-highest goal-scorer in Premiership history.
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NOTE TO EDITOR:
Manchester United Foundation
United for UNICEF
For more information, please contact:
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Unite against AIDS
• The Malaysian Launch
Newsline: United for UNICEF
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