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UNICEF teams up with partners for girls’ education

PARIS/DHAKA-BANGLADESH/NEW YORK, 21 June 2004 - Major sporting bodies and stars lent their skills and muscle to the cause of girl's education at two international events today.  In Dhaka, UNICEF announced a partnership with the Asian Cricket Council and in Paris cheered the finals of the Jetix Kids Cup (formerly Fox Kids Cup). 

Both efforts highlight the role sport can play in getting children, especially girls, into school and making sure they succeed.  UNICEF’s 25 by 2005 campaign aims to get more girls into school in 25 countries where the UN Millennium Development Goal of achieving gender parity in the classroom by 2005 is in jeopardy.

Currently, 121 million children are out of school, most of them girls.

“Playing sports is a fundamental part of a healthy childhood,” said Carol Bellamy.  “More than just recreation, sports is a ‘school for life’ where children can learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and core principles such as tolerance, co-operation and respect. “

In Paris, several hundred girls and boys have gathered from 16 countries to play in the finals of the Jetix Kids Cup 2004 – which is dedicated to girls’ education.

UNICEF National Ambassador for Ethiopia and reigning 10,000-metre champion Berhane Adere will present the UNICEF Fair Play Award to the winning girls’ and boys’ teams on Wednesday, June 23. Ms. Adere speaks out frequently on behalf of girls’ education and the importance of sport and is considered a role model in her country.  She recently participated in the launch of the child-to-child survey of out of school children in Ethiopia.  She will be competing in the Athens Olympics.

This is the third year Jetix Kids Cup has worked to raise awareness of UNICEF's Go Girls! Education for Every Child campaign, which is a major part of UNICEF's '25 by 2005' initiative.

In Dhaka, UNICEF and the Asian Cricket Council signed a partnership to promote UNICEF’s 'Fair Play for Girls' Education Campaign.  This agreement will promote the right of equal access to education for girls and boys in South Asia through cricket matches and associated events.

The region includes the great cricketing nations of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as Nepal and Afghanistan, which all face challenges to secure the goal of education for all. An estimated 46 million children in South Asia are out of school and the majority are girls.

“Respect girls’ right to play, encourage them,” said Bellamy “Girls who play sports have a much better chance to go to school and get a quality education.”

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For further information, please contact:

Martin Dawes, UNICEF ROSA, mobile: 00 977 98510 40961,
Binita Shah, UNICEF ROSA, mobile:  00 98510 74260,
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, tel: 212 326 7452, 


Jetix Kids Cup:  The international final will take place at the Manchester United Soccer School at Disneyland Resort Paris between June 21-25, 2004. For more information please log onto http://www.foxkidscupinfo.com/. The broadcast of the Jetix Kids Cup 2004 will reach a total of 173 million homes in 62 countries and 15 languages worldwide on Fox Kids channels in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America and on ABC Kids, part of the ABC Television Network, and ABC Family.

Asian Cricket Council: The Asian Cricket Council aims to promote and develop the sport of cricket in Asia. The cricket boards of twenty countries are members. In July the ACC will be hosting the Asian Cricket Cup in Sri Lanka.

For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. 




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