[Dateline: New York | Author: DPKO/UN Cares/iSeek]
Lace up your sneakers and walk with the UN Cares team on Sunday, 17 May, as they join New Yorkers for the City’s 24th Annual AIDS Walk. Your participation will help to demonstrate the UN System’s commitment to end AIDS, as well as show support for family members, friends, and neighbours who are facing the reality of HIV every day.
It is a wonderful opportunity to let New York know that the UN cares and that “we are part of this great city.”
Last December, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) held various World AIDS Day activities for mission staff across the world to raise awareness and to show local communities that UN Cares. See below for photos of the 1 December 2008 World AIDS Day commemoration.
The UN Cares team in New York is looking to double the number of walkers from last year’s 102, as it aims to raise $30,000 this year to regain its 2006 status as a Gold Team. “We can easily reach that goal if you register and if we each raise at least $100,” the UN Cares team urged staff, adding, this is easy to do. Ask friends, family members and colleagues to sponsor you if they are unable to participate. Family members and friends can also join the team. “We always have kids with us, from little ones in strollers to teens and adult staff kids.”
In 2006, the team raised close to $30,000, making it one of the top teams for AIDS Walk and was honoured with the Gold Team status. In the past two years, however, the team was unable to reach its targets, raising less than $25,000 each year and losing its gold status. You can help the team get the gold again.
Please join online at http://www.aidswalk.net/newyork/. Click "Register To Walk," "Join a Team," and then select UN Cares – team number 1277 from the pull-down menu.
Togolese football star joins UN roster to spotlight HIV/AIDS
As the newest Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Arsenal star and “African Footballer of the Year” will use his sporting popularity to highlight, among other things, the importance of preventing new infections among young people. About half of all new HIV infections occur among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, according to UNAIDS, which notes that the key to reversing the epidemic is preventing infections among this age group.
“Sports stars like Emmanuel are excellent role models for young people,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “I am confident that he will use the same skill and determination he has on the field in teaching young people about how to protect themselves against HIV off the field.”
Mr. Adebayor’s interest in working on AIDS issues began after seeing the impact of the epidemic in his native Togo. “Many of these young people aren’t aware of HIV and the risk of infection, and don’t know how to protect themselves. I hope I can help change this in my new role as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.”
He joins fellow footballer and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Michael Ballack, working together in an HIV awareness campaign, "On the pitch we compete – off the pitch we are uniting the world against AIDS."
Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS is crucial in the fight to end the disease. Everyday across the world, many people, including celebrities are working with the UN to raise awareness and to save lives. Togolese footballer Emmanuel Adebayor is the latest addition to the UN roster of renowned personalities using their star power to raise awareness about the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.