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UNICEF international Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, commits herself together with Beninese children to fight against malaria

© Photo USAID / 2016
COTONOU, 6 February 2017. We asked the children of the International Centre of Art and Music of Ouidah (CIAMO): “How does one prevent malaria?”. As a response, they composed a song featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo and rap singer Logozo accompanied by the Gangbé Brass Band and Antibalas band, in the scheme of the project “Kids against Malaria”.

This project is a joint venture gathering the know-how of UNICEF, the Embassy of the United States of America, CIAMO and other world-famous artists in the arena of music and cinema. The aim of the initiative is to launch a global mobilization against malaria. The joint effort of all these means and talents culminated in the production of a simple but heartrending song which delivers messages on prevention, written by the children in both French and Fon (national/local language).

« In Benin, although six million insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed in 2014, malaria is responsible for 36% of deaths in children under the age of five in that same year», sadly says Dr Claudes Kamenga, UNICEF Representative in Benin. « These deaths can be avoided because we have the knowledge and necessary tools to prevent and treat malaria », added the Representative.

© Photo USAID / 2016
UNICEF international Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo

Singing along with the children, Angélique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador explains: “I am a great believer in music as being the ultimate weapon to break silence and to move things forward. You can hear the joy of the children when they sing this song. It is about time we really tackle the eradication of malaria in this world."

Every year, more than 300,000 children under five die from malaria around the world. Investments are needed in order to face this unacceptable situation. « The Government of the United States of America is committed to fight against the effects of malaria. In Benin, within the framework of our partnership with the Presidential Initiative to fight against malaria (PMI) we spend an average of US$16.5 million per year to combat this deadly disease,” US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn highlights.

In turn, Sarah DuPont, co-founder of the CIAMO and co-designer of the project explains that “Kids against Malaria” is conceived to make the children autonomous through their art, using their own voices in this initiative to fight against malaria.

« The project is an harmonious collaboration which proves that in our human capacity we can create beauty, resolve problems and work together for a better and safer world », asserts Ms. Sarah Dupont.

« I was flabbergasted by the magnificence of this song created by the CIAMO students and their music teacher. Their original song entitled Malaria your time has come! was resounding! The voices of these children was a call for awareness. We were excited when Angélique Kidjo, three time Grammy Awards winner joined us to arrange the song and shoot a video clip », underlines Jon Fine, the film director.

Fully committed in the fight against malaria, Mr. Alassane Seidou, Benin Minister of Health hailed the children’s initiative. « Thanks to the video produced as part of the project, the various communities of the country will be sensitized on malaria and will know how to prevent the disease,” assures the Minister.

The project “Kids against Malaria” was also designed with the support of the State Department, the USA Agency for International Development (USAID), the Presidential Initiative for Fighting Malaria (PMI), Harvard University, the Peace Corps and several other governmental and non-governmental Institutions.

Video available

KIDS AGAINST MALARIA [English version]




UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information on UNICEF Benin: https://www.unicef.org/benin/

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For further information, please contact:

- Hadrien Bonnaud, Chief Communication, UNICEF Benin, +229 21 36 50 14, hbonnaud@unicef.org

- Hippolyte Djiwan, Media Officer, UNICEF Benin, +229 21 36 50 29, hdjiwan@unicef.org




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