National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Kyrie Irving has just concluded a visit to South Africa, where he participated in a variety of educational programs supported by UNICEF's Schools for Africa initiative.
The Cleveland Cavaliers player was joined on the trip by Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA All-Star, member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Executive Board of Directors, and NBA Global Ambassador.
Over the course of the three-day trip, the 2012 Rookie of the Year witnessed a wide range of UNICEF Schools for Africa programs in Gauteng Province, visiting primary and secondary schools in both Soweto and Randfontein, where he engaged with students, teachers and administrators.
“Even with the challenges they face, it was inspiring to see how much the kids want to learn and how hard the teachers are working,” said Irving. “I saw first-hand how early childhood education and school sports activities are making a difference in these kids’ lives.”
At the Bafikile Primary School in Soweto, Irving helped lead students through physical education activities that are part of UNICEF’s Sports for Development initiative. Before taking to the court for a basketball clinic, he addressed the importance of staying in school to an assembly of Soweto’s Senaonae Secondary School, where dropout rates are very high.
At Emaweni Primary School in Soweto, Irving worked on an art project with a group five- and six year-olds who are in the school’s Early Childhood Development program. He also helped facilitate a discussion with students from the Pahama Secondary School in Randfontein who participate in the Girls and Boys Education Movement, which provides students with leadership skills and information that help them mobilize their communities to support the rights of girls.
Schools for Africa is a multi-country education initiative launched by UNICEF in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Peter Krämer Stiftung. Driven by Nelson Mandela's vision that education is the key to everything, the initiative is dedicated to increasing access to quality education for millions of children—particularly girls, orphans, children living in extreme poverty, and other vulnerable children—in 13 countries in Africa.
How to Help
For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Mail: U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038