NEW YORK: UNICEF and UNAIDS have announced a partnership with the International Cricket Council and the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership as part of a youth-focused HIV-prevention campaign during this year's Cricket World Cup.
The campaign will include a series of PSAs featuring leading cricket players speaking about how HIV affects young children. The partnership is a new phase in UNICEF and UNAIDS' co-sponsored Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, which launched in 2005. UNICEF is handling the communications effort in house.
"The idea was to get the world to wake up to the fact that children were missing out on the [public's] response to this disease," said Dan Thomas, senior producer in UNICEF's communications division. "No one was paying attention to children... like this was an adult's disease."
The Cricket World Cup is being held in the West Indies, with the final in Barbados on April 28. David Koch, producer and style editor for UNICEF, noted that many of the nations where cricket is popular also face stigmas with the AIDS/HIV pandemic.
"India is obviously one of our prime focus areas and a country where the sport is hugely popular," Koch said. "To get the gods of cricket talking to people about the importance of education, the importance of talking to your peers, of getting it into the open, is a tremendous opportunity."
Thomas said that as part of the campaign, players and officials from each team will wear the red and blue ribbon of the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS push. The PSAs will also be shown on screens at the stadiums where games are being played.
The campaign is using The NewsMarket to distribute the PSAs, which can also be viewed at www.unicef.org/cricket.