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NBA star Samuel Dalembert returns home to Haiti to support UNICEF

Port-au-Prince, 19 September 2007

Who: Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA)

What: Visits UNICEF relief efforts for children in Haiti and highlight the situation of women and children and holds press conferences in Port-au-Prince.

When: 15-23 September 2007

Where: Press conference at Hotel Montana, rue Franck Cardozo, Port-au-Prince

Why: Haitian children live in dire conditions and struggle for survival. In fact, one of 17 infants dies before his or her first birthday. A lack of basic services such as water, health care and education is compounded by poverty, violence, and the highest HIV/AIDS rate outside of sub-Saharan Africa.

On September 15th, Sam Dalembert, elite basketball star and Philadelphia 76ers centre, will return to his native country to learn more about UNICEF’s work in Haiti. Dalembert, who was born in Port-au-Prince, has been active in the fight against AIDS and is a UNICEF partner in the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS Campaign. He has recently established the Samuel Dalembert Foundation.

His nine day journey will include visiting children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS and visiting Cite Soleil, an impoverished slum where UNICEF supports programmes in nutrition and vaccination projects, rehabilitation of schools, and the reintegration of children affected by violence. Dalembert will also visit a healthcare centre in Cange that focuses on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis treatment and prevention.

Dalembert will complete his visit by attending an event featuring children of Cite Soleil who have completed a sports training programme sponsored by the Haitian Olympic Committee and the Haitian Basketball Federation.

For more information, please contact:

Cecilia Sanchez, UNICEF Haiti, +509 245 3525 Ext.279, cesanchez@unicef.org
Linda Tom, UNICEF Haiti, +509 245-3525 ext 276, ltom@unicef.org
Mark Connolly, UNICEF - The Americas and Caribbean Regional Office (TACRO), +507 301 7446, mconnolly@unicef.org



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