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UNICEF South Africa unveils a three year partnership with Soccerex

JOHANNESBURG, 20 September 2007 - UNICEF South Africa and Soccerex, the premier business convention for football worldwide, announced the beginning of a three-year partnership.

UNICEF South Africa will showcase its sports for development programme at Soccerex   conventions over the next three years, in the lead-up to the FIFA 2010 World Cup, while at the same time collaborating with some 5,000 delegates representing the business side of soccer, on the development of children through sport.

 “This is a great opportunity for the children of South Africa, both girls and boys,” said Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative. “Soccerex is not only about soccer business, but also about children and giving children access to play. Our partnership with Soccerex gives us an opportunity as UNICEF to reach thousands of children, some who are playing soccer in dusty streets using a makeshift soccer ball made out of plastic bags.”  

In cooperation with the National Department of Education, UNICEF has pledged its support to help improve the conditions of 585 of the most vulnerable and under-resourced schools in the country.  This includes improvement in children’s access to sports and recreational facilities, equipment and training.  The project is part of the adolescent development component of UNICEF’s child -friendly schools programme, which aims to help reduce young people’s involvement in risky behaviour that can lead to HIV infection.

“These schools are often desperately in need of a quality learning environment, equipment, infrastructure, coaches and playgrounds,” Lindsey noted.

Soccerex CEO, Duncan Revie said, “We see this partnership with UNICEF as an opportunity to contribute towards a real legacy during our time in South Africa.  Everyone knows the power of football to reach into the hearts and minds of young people, especially here in South Africa.  This partnership will also offer encouragement to other companies looking for opportunities for their social responsibility programmes.”

SOCCERE: the world’s largest annual business to business Soccer exhibition with 350 exhibitors and 4,000 + senior decision makers from the business of global Soccer.  With 2010 World Cup, South Africa is now the official home of the convention in the run up to the World Cup (this year the convention is hosted between 25-28th November, Sandton Convention Centre) and UNICEF, with its strong Sports for Development focus in South Africa, is being billed as the "Official Charity" for the three year duration of the partnership.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, 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.

For further information, please contact:
Yvonne Duncan, Mobile:  +2782-561-3970 yduncan@unicef.org
Davis Mulenga, Mobile:  +27721474847, damulenga@unicef.org
Justin Bradfield: jbradfield@unicef.org, 073 9661448




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