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UNICEF and MSNBC Announce Fundraising Initiative to Provide School Desks for Malawian Students Program to be Unveiled During MSNBC's ‘Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

UNICEF and MSNBC Announce Fundraising Initiative to Provide School Desks for Malawian Students

Program to be Unveiled During MSNBC's ‘Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF and MSNBC's “The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell” announce a new fundraising campaign to provide more than 46,000 school desks to 172 classrooms in Malawi – a country where the quality of education is very poor. The groundbreaking project – called “K.I.N.D.: Kids in Need of Desks” – aims to help Malawian children, parents, and local communities build and sustain an accessible educational system that promotes completion and achievement. The program will be announced in a special segment of “The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell” on MSNBC on December 16 at 10:00 p.m ET.

New York, NY (Vocus) December 16, 2010

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF and MSNBC's “The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell” announce a new fundraising campaign to provide more than 46,000 school desks to 172 classrooms in Malawi – a country where the quality of education is very poor. The groundbreaking project – called “K.I.N.D.: Kids in Need of Desks” – aims to help Malawian children, parents, and local communities build and sustain an accessible educational system that promotes completion and achievement. The program will be announced in a special segment of “The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell” on MSNBC on December 16 at 10:00 p.m ET.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 45 million children do not go to school for reasons that range from lack of facilities to gender discrimination. Even still, it is not uncommon for those children who do attend school to do so in the open, usually under trees, or in overcrowded classrooms where there is no furniture save a chalkboard. They sit on dusty floors in shells of buildings that may or may not have a roof.

In Malawi in particular, only one in five children have access to school furniture like desks and chairs. Yet, research has demonstrated that adequate teaching infrastructure, including furniture, can positively impact the participation of children in school. This campaign will help UNICEF meet its goal of ensuring that by 2012, 80 percent of Malawi's schools are implementing the Child-Friendly Schools Initiative.

“We know that a child is more likely to learn and stay in school if they are doing so in a welcoming and comfortable environment. The addition of something we may take for granted - a desk - can make a major difference in a child's future,” said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. “Together with MSNBC, we will provide Malawian children with the tools they need to succeed. Through this program, we hope to see an increased number of children who enroll, attend and complete the entire eight years of their primary school education.”

“K.I.N.D.: Kids in Need of Desks” by the numbers:

46,000 desks will be available to 224,000 Malawian students

Each desk provides seating for two children

The total cost of the program per child is $24

“K.I.N.D.: Kids in Need of Desks” is a component of the Schools for Africa campaign which aims to accelerate access to quality basic education for children, with a special focus on girls, orphans and vulnerable children. A joint initiative founded by UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Schools for Africa campaign is guided by UNICEF's Child-Friendly Schools Initiative, which creates conditions that attract children to school and support every aspect of their learning and growth. When the campaign began in 2004, UNICEF focused on six of Africa's most vulnerable countries: Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Today, the Schools for Africa campaign is active in 11 countries, including the original six and the addition of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali and Niger. For more information or to make a donation, please visit http://www.unicefusa.org/kind or http://www.LastWordDesks.msnbc.com or call 1800-FOR-KIDS.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, 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.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 22,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit http://www.unicefusa.org.

For additional information, please contact:

Kiní Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2634, kschoop (at) unicefusa (dot) org

Tanya Hayre, MSNBC, 212.664.3996, tanya.hayre (at) nbcuni (dot) com

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/12/prweb4905354.htm

 

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