UN and NY Knicks to ‘Dunk Malaria’ in event
UN and NY Knicks to ‘Dunk Malaria’ in fund and awareness-raising event
With a small dunk of a little ball directed towards a mini-basket by each of thousands of basketball fans on 15 March, the United Nations, the New York Knicks and other partners hope to raise awareness and funds to defeat malaria, a scourge that kills millions of children each year, the partners in the programme announced today.
“Malaria has affected a lot of children throughout the world but mainly in Africa, so we’re excited to be a part of something that can save lives,” John Starks, former star and current Alumni Relations and Fan Development Adviser of the New York Knicks, one of the sponsors of “Dunk Malaria,” said at a press conference at UN Headquarters.
The United Nations programme on Sport for Development and Peace and the non-governmental organization Hedge Funds vs. Malaria are teaming up with the Knicks at the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden in New York, where fans can try their skills with a basket passed around the arena, learn about the disease and find out how to donate toward prevention of the disease.
“Sport is a universal language,” said Djibril Diallo Director of the New York Office of the UN sports programme. “At its best, sport can bring people together non matter what their origin or their background.”
Speaking of the Knicks and the UN Office, Lance Laifer, founder of the Hedge Funds vs. Malaria, said: “We’re bringing two great institutions of New York together to fight a disease that is killing millions of children under the age of five every year.”
The three speakers stressed that prevention of malaria could be as cheap as buying treated nets for children to sleep under at night.
“I think it should keep every person who is living and breathing up at night, knowing that there are defenceless kids that are dying in the numbers that they are dying from a completely preventable and eradicable disease,” he added.