ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare Team up to Empower 10,000 Youths

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Ten thousands youth in schools and vulnerable communities will benefit
from the Power Forward programme organised by ExxonMobil, the National
Basketball Association (NBA) and the international NGO Africare. Power
Forward community events include malaria prevention where the youth
distributed 2,129 bed nets along with personal hygiene products to
men, women and children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camp.
The goal of this year’s edition of the youth development programme,
which is into its fourth year, is to equip the participants with life
skills information, while 6,000 bed nets will be distributed and 20
hand wash stations installed to promote hygiene and promote exemplary
leadership skills.
In his remarks, Franck Traore, Technical Director, NBA Africa, said:
“This programme has held three major kick off events with more than
6,000 students and VIPs in attendance. We have embarked on several
interventions at IDP centres for malaria prevention and sanitation
exercise.”
He further explained that Power Forward, through its focus on health,
builds on efforts by the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative to combat
malaria in Nigeria. The successful malaria initiative works with a
range of partners to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eliminate malaria
especially in pregnant women and children under 5 who constitute the
most vulnerable.
Since 2000, ExxonMobil-supported programmes have distributed more
than 14 million bed nets, nearly three million diagnostic tests and
more than four million anti-malaria treatments, reaching more than 125
million people worldwide.
The Power Forward project also supports the Federal Government’s
National Malaria Control Programs’ advocacy on youth development and
public health, which ExxonMobil also supports through its health
initiatives in the country.
The world has made remarkable progress against malaria in recent
years: between 2000 and 2015, global malaria mortality rates decreased
by 60 per cent and initiatives to combat the disease saved more than 6
million lives. Last year, Power Forward’s 60 community events in 2016
were based on the knowledge the students acquired and have impacted an
estimated 6,000 people. During the World Malaria Day (WMD) last month,
2,000 bed nets were distributed.
The programme was first launched in Abuja on November 19, 2013 with a
Tip-Off event featuring NBA and Women’s National Basketball
Association (WNBA) representatives, Nigerian policymakers and
influential personalities.
Former NBA Player and Nigerian National Team Captain Olumide Oyedeji
was the star attraction at the basketball clinics, which featured as
part of the programme.
Traore thanked the NBA, Africare, the NBA Talents, National Malaria
Elimination Programme of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of
Education, the Power Forward Schools and everyone for their support
for that initiative and the opportunity it presented.
He also admonished the listening audience that “by working together,
we have the opportunity to invest in the future and defeat malaria.”
The Power Forward programme is a co-initiative of ExxonMobil through
its foundation which engages in a range of philanthropic activities
that improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for
development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in
developing countries; in collaboration with The NBA through NBA Cares,
which addresses important social issues by working with
internationally recognised youth-serving organisations that support
education, youth and family development, and health-related causes and
Africare is a leading non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to
addressing African development and policy issues by working in
partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and
productive communities.