Feature story

“Score the Goals” comic book launched: Ten football Goodwill Ambassadors embark on a journey facing the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals

26 January 2011

In the comic UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassadors Michael Ballack and Emmanuel Adebayor talk about HIV
Credit: 'Score the Goals' An educational comic book about the MDGs

A new comic book for children featuring Michael Ballack and other football stars who are United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors was launched on 24 January at the United Nations in Geneva, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfried Lemke.

Score the Goals: Teaming Up to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals”  is a 32-page educational comic book aimed at 8 to 12 year old children to provides a fun interactive way to help understand and reflect on the eight Millennium Development Goals.

The story features ten football United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors, including Michael Ballack, Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Baggio, Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba, Luis Figo, Raúl, Ronaldo, Patrick Vieira, and Zinédine Zidane.

The star-studded team journey to play an “all-star” charity football game in support of the United Nations. On the way they shipwreck on a deserted island and the story explores how the team copes by team spirit and survivor skills with the challenges that life on a deserted island brings.

The story simultaneously educates and entertains the young readers who are also invited to take action through several activities provided in the adjoining educational guide. The reader is invited to learn about the world’s challenges in ending hunger, universal education, gender equity, child health, maternal health, HIV, environmental sustainability, global partnership.

In 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders at United Nations Headquarters in New York adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The Declaration, endorsed by 189 countries, committed nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and it set out a series of targets to be reached by 2015. These have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Everybody should have equal access to information and I hope that with this comic book we can reach out to a large young audience with important messages

Michael Ballack, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador and football star

In the comic Michael Ballack and fellow UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Emmanuel Adebayor talk about HIV in reference to Goal 6 which sets out by 2015 to have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV.

Michael Ballack who has been a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador since 2006 is convinced of the importance of reaching young people with accurate information about HIV.

“I want people to know more about HIV as well as the other Millennium Development Goals because health and development are interlinked,” said Michael Ballack. “Everybody should have equal access to information and I hope that with this comic book we can reach out to a large young audience with important messages.”

The project has been carried out in a ‘One-UN’ spirit as an inter-agency collaboration between the UN Office for Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Department of Public Information (DPI), and the Stop TB Partnership.
The comic book is available in English, French and Spanish and other languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Russian, will be made available in the near future.