By Emmanuel Elebeke
As malaria continues to pose serious threat to the world, efforts by the World Health Organization and various nations to control the menace seems not enough.
The need for support from theÂ private sector becomes inevitable. It was in realization of this facts,Â and inÂ line with its tradition of giving back to the society thatÂ MTN Nigeria last week flagged off its 21 Days of Yâ€™ello Care at Golden Plaza, Courtyard, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The 2010 edition ofÂ MTN staff volunteer activities is targeted at two major areas: malaria and education tagged â€œUnited Against Malaria and 1 Goal: Education for Allâ€.
The 21 days programme, would see MTN rolling out a â€œKick Out Malariaâ€ campaign to reachÂ its consumers in various operating countries with 1 million mosquito nets via the 2010 Yâ€™ello Care platform and other corporate social responsibilities.
It also said it is going to work with world body charged with the responsibility of fighting malaria ( United Against Malaria) to use MTNâ€™s footprints, technologies and FIFA World Cup sponsorship to build awareness of malaria epidemic andÂ spread the prevention by distributing nets to help eliminate malaria in Africa by 2015.
In addition to this efforts, Omogbenigun said MTN is also embarking on renovation of 21 schools across the six geo political zones in the country and a ward at military hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos, just as she said over 1200 MTNers would be mobilized to take on several social activities withing their area of operations to mark the event.
According to MTN, this is geared towards combating the prevalence of malaria and its associated deaths in Africa.
Chief Operating Officer of MTN, Ahmed Farrouk while delivering his goodwill message at the occasion said the annual MTN group community care initiative speaks to MTNâ€™s commitment to transforming the communities in which it operates.
â€œIndeed, the management and staff of MTN Nigeria are excited at another opportunity to give back and prepare towards contributing to a successful Yeâ€™llo Care programme.Â â€œI have no doubt that this will demonstrate MTNâ€™s spirit of caring, guided by our values of leadership, innovation, relationship, integrity and Can-do spirit of MTNâ€.
In her address, the General Manager, Corporate Communications,Â MTN Nigeria, Funmi Omogbenigun said the event provided MTN an unprecedented opportunity to merge its passion for Africa, with the continentâ€™s passion for football to drive CSR initiatives and ensure that Africaâ€™s World Cup leaves a lasting legacy and indelible mark in the minds of the people.
Omogbenigun said the 2010 edition of 21 Days of Yâ€™ello Care is expected to ride on the MTN 2010 FIFA World Cup legacy to address two of Africaâ€™s biggest problems: malaria and access to education.
According to the her, MTN through the 1 Goal initiative willÂ seize the power ofÂ football in South Africa to ensure education for allÂ by collecting the names and backing from the public footballers, celebrities to make a united plea to governments across the globe in order to meet their targets on the â€œeducation for Allâ€ forÂ all children and adults by 2015.
She said the support from MTNers was to ensure that their names were part of theÂ millions of names to be delivered ahead of the UN meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in September, 2010 to provide access to the estimated 75 million children in the world who are said to be out of school because of poverty.