The ICC will partner UNAIDS and UNICEF to deliver the global cricket awareness partnership THINK WISE, and once again work with Room to Read
With just a week to go for the start of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, the International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the three Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnerships for the tournament.
The ICC will partner UNAIDS and UNICEF to deliver the global cricket awareness partnership THINK WISE, and once again work with Room to Read. These two organisations will be joined for this tournament by new CSR partner WASH United, the initiative responsible for promoting good hygiene across Bangladesh.
During the tournament, the ICC will work with the three partners in hosting a variety of coaching clinics and visits involving players from many of the participating teams, while also highlighting each of the initiatives at various match days throughout the event.
THINK WISE and Room to Read are the ICC’s global charity partners. Last year, the ICC celebrated its decade-long association with UNAIDS to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. The THINK WISE partnership with UNAIDS, UNICEF and the ICC, meanwhile, began in 2009.
For this tournament, the ICC is again partnering with UNAIDS and UNICEF to amplify the messages of the global AIDS cricket campaign ‘THINK WISE’. This initiative uses the platform and players of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 to encourage young cricket fans to protect themselves from HIV and combat stigma.
WASH United will be the exclusive charity partner for the women’s draw of the tournament and also the ICC’s charity partner for the School Contact Programme. Supported by its mascot for the tournament, ‘Happy’ the hand-washing tiger, the initiative seeks to ‘bowl out diarrhoea’ in Bangladesh and indeed in all of South Asia.
Announcing the CSR initiatives, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson:: “I am delighted once again that the ICC is partnering with THINK WISE along with Room to Read to continue promoting both the importance of HIV and AIDS awareness and the education of children around the globe.
“We are also happy to work for the first time with WASH United in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of personal hygiene to good health. The men’s tournament will be used to promote the message about the benefits of hand-washing with soap and the women’s tournament, about menstrual hygiene. Together, the ICC and WASH United will be able to reach millions of cricket fans with these life-saving hygiene messages.”
Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, explained the objectives of the THINK WISE initiative in Bangladesh saying: “Engaging adolescents and youth in the fight against AIDS is critical. Too often stigma prevents young people from getting the information and services they need to protect themselves. The THINK WISE Campaign is helping to change that, and UNICEF is proud to continue our partnership with UNAIDS and ICC towards an AIDS-free generation.”
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said: “More than 10 years of action on AIDS through cricket has shown us how the sport can unite billions of people across the globe. The THINK WISE message gets stronger— encouraging young people to get the facts on HIV; to make informed choices about protecting themselves and others; and to be leaders in eliminating stigma and discrimination.”
Dr Geetha Murali, the Chief Development Officer of Room to Read, said: “Room to Read is honoured to be a long standing partner of the ICC and engage esteemed players such as Shane Watson, Virat Kohli and Angelo Matthews in its work. These Room to Read ambassadors have inspired young learners to value education and work hard to fulfill their dreams.”
Also sharing his excitement and looking forward to the association, Thorsten Kiefer, the CEO of WASH United, said: “South Asia is not only home to some of the best cricketers and most passionate cricket fans, it is also the world region with the biggest challenges in sanitation and hygiene. More than 1,000 children under the age of five are dying from preventable diarrhoea every day.
“We are extremely excited that ICC is now teaming up with WASH United to help tackle this neglected crisis. Combining school trainings, fan activations around the matches and TV spots, this partnership between ICC and WASH United will harness the power of cricket to raise the importance of hand-washing with soap and menstrual hygiene among cricket fans in Bangladesh and the region,” he added.
The men’s matches at the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 will be staged across three venues (Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet) from 16 March to 6 April. The women’s matches will be held at two venues (Sylhet and Dhaka) between 23 March and 6 April.
Notes to Editors:
THINK WISE will reach millions of young people and their families through the tournament and raise awareness on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes led by UNAIDS and UNICEF in partnership with governments and other organisations on the ground.
Room to Read is a global non-profit organisation working to promote literacy and gender equality in education across Asia and Africa. Room to Read began its operations in 2000 and, to date, has reached nearly nine million children globally by empowering them with quality education. It aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. Room to Read commenced its association with the ICC in 2011 with the vision to benefit children in cricket-playing nations and enhance the sport’s positive contribution to local communities.
WASH United is an international social impact organisation that harnesses the power of sports, games, fun and positive communication to promote sanitation and good hygiene in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. So far, WASH United has trained more than 100,000 children in good hygiene behaviour and engaged hundreds of millions of people through campaigns.