Posts Tagged ‘UNICEF’

Nick Collison Details Trip To Kenya With Dikembe Mutombo, UNICEF

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Thunder forward Nick Collison, along with NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo and Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute is in Kenya representing the NBA as part of a UNICEF field trip. Collison has filed this travelogue for NBA.com.

Entry 1: Making my way to Kenya

I previously attended Basketball without Borders in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2008, so this marks my second trip to Africa. I had a great experience and wanted to return, so when I was approached by the NBA to come to Kenya as part of a UNICEF field trip followed by another BWB in Johannesburg, I jumped at the opportunity.

Friday morning I left New York on a flight to Johannesburg then on to Nairobi.  The total travel time was over 20 hours. After relaxing Saturday we had a day to spend in Nairobi. A small group of us toured Kibera which is one of the largest slums in the world, located in the middle of Nairobi. Walking through Kibera was a powerful experience. The living conditions are awful. Children are playing barefoot in the dirt roads among the sewage and garbage. Like many other parts of Africa, HIV and AIDS is a major problem. Families have taken in orphans into their already overcrowded homes. I visited a similar neighborhood in South Africa in 2008. Both times I came away feeling sad for the people, but also inspired by them. Despite their struggles, life goes on. I met people who are working to help others through churches and small health clinics. The children were playing with smiles on their faces. It is a great experience to see how other people in different parts of the world live. It gives perspective and appreciation for what is important in life.

The journey continues today as I am on a plane to Kakuma.  I am part of a UNICEF team going to visit a refugee camp that is the home of over 100,000 refugees displaced by conflict or famine. I will fill you in on what comes next…

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Pau Gasol Does Good Deeds, Participates In UNICEF Mission In Chad

by Micah Hart

courtesy UNICEF Spain

Pau Gasol has always been one of the most socially conscious players in the NBA, so it should come as no surprise that he is spending part of his offseason in Chad as part of a UNICEF mission to service over one million malnourished children in the Sahel region of the country. From the LA Times:

Gasol has long been aware of the human condition, appreciative of the joys and sorrows that life brings. The Lakers forward has taken another step in further grasping that concept, arriving in the African nation of Chad on Thursday as part of a week-long trip in the Sahel region, where he’ll work as a UNICEF ambassador.

Gasol has been Spain’s UNICEF ambassador since 2003, so he’s been on the “using my prestige and privilege to help people out” train for a long time. He’s even willing to lower himself to singing terrible songs by The Fray, if it helps raise money for the organization:

This last March, Gasol participated in El Rey Theater’s “Play List With the A-List,” in which celebrities sang karaoke to raise funds for UNICEF.  Gasol sang the Fray’s “How to Save a Life.”

If only there were a series of tubes where someone might have posted video evidence of Gasol and his pipes. (Thinking). Oh right!

Gasol won this past season’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, so it’s good to see the big man isn’t resting on his laurels.

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