NEW YORK (June 11, 2014) – WNBA stars Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike today launched a fundraising competition open to participation by girls’ middle and high school basketball teams across the country. The competition will raise funds to support UNICEF programs focusing on girls’ education and empowerment such as the Girls’ Education Project, which aims to give one million girls in Nigeria access to quality learning, provide scholarships for female teachers and establish safe spaces for girls.
“The violence in Nigeria has led to schools closing down, with parents refusing to enroll their daughters in class and educators being too scared to teach. Nigeria has 10 million children out of school—the highest number in the world,” said Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “We are grateful that Nneka and Chiney are using their voices to inspire girls across the U.S. to support UNICEF’s efforts to provide children in Nigeria with a quality education.”
“We are excited to team up with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and young athletes across the country in an effort to raise awareness for every child’s right to an education,” said Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, who often return to Nigeria to visit their extended family. “By combining our passion for basketball and philanthropy, we hope to help more girls in Nigeria gain access to school and have a brighter future.”
Competition participants can enter as a team or individually and set up their own fundraising page at www.crowdrise.com/nnekaandchiney. The team that signs up the most donors will win a private basketball clinic with the Ogwumike sisters. Additional team and individual prizes include autographed jerseys and pictures by Nneka and Chiney, as well as the opportunity to interact with them via Google Hangouts.
For more information on UNICEF’s work in Nigeria visit http://bit.ly/R1cdDQ.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.
For additional information, please contact:
Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, asioris@unicefusa,org