As part of the Power Forward program, ExxonMobil Foundation, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare has donated 30,000 masks, 90 new hand washing stations and hand sanitizer to 30 Power Forward schools in Abuja.
The hand washing stations, the group said, will reach 35,000 school community users.
ExxonMobil Foundation, the NBA and Africare, a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) is committed to addressing African development and policy issues. The group announced that two-time NBA all-star Victor Oladipo and 2015 NBA champion Festus Ezeli headlined the first virtual ‘Power Forward Huddle.’
The event will be conducted virtually for the first time and would be live streamed on the NBA Africa YouTube channel at 4:00 p.m. CAT, to celebrate seven years of the Power Forward program for youth ages 14 and under and coaches from 30 schools in Abuja, Nigeria.
The ExxonMobil Foundation President, Kevin Murphy, said, using the convening power of sports, our successful collaboration with the NBA and Africare allows young people to play the games they love while receiving the life-skills and public health messages they need to stay healthy. “Every year, young people graduate these programs with knowledge on how to protect themselves from infectious diseases like malaria and COVID-19.”
Also, the NBA Africa CEO, Victor Williams said, “We are thrilled to celebrate the seventh year of the Power Forward program in Abuja alongside our partners ExxonMobil and Africare.
“Power Forward has become an annual celebration for the participating schools in Abuja, and we are grateful to be joined this year by Victor Oladipo and Festus Ezeli, who will make this year’s virtual event even more memorable for participating youth and coaches.”
On his part, Africare President and CEO, Robert Mallett added that, Nigeria, like other sub-Saharan African countries, is experiencing a youth bulge.
“The Power Forward project has shown year after year that this model of youth leadership is successful and replicable. It is impactful. It has three elements that make for success: strong partners in ExxonMobil and the NBA, focused objectives and enthusiastic participants. That is a winning formula anywhere, anytime, and we are very thrilled to be part of the daily transformations we help to make possible.”
Power Forward, a youth development initiative launched in 2013 by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the NBA and Africare, uses basketball to teach health literacy, including malaria prevention and personal hygiene, and life skills, such as leadership, respect and responsibility, to students in 30 secondary schools in Abuja.
To date, Power Forward has reached more than 80,000 youth in schools and communities in need, and nearly 30,000 people have attended past Power Forward community events.