With his place in NBA lore already cemented, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki is now looking to positively impact the world away from the court.
Sunday, the 11-time All-Star and former league and Finals MVP was appointed to be the German ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund, making a call to fight malnutrition of children worldwide. Nowitzki will now work alongside the German committee for UNICEF to end chronic malnutrition while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“UNICEF helps us realize to what extent children need our support. However, UNICEF stands for solutions,” Nowitzki said while being appointed to the position near his hometown of Würzburg, Germany. “Malnutrition is not an unexpected natural event. With simple and cost-effective interventions, UNICEF can save children’s lives and provide them with a healthy start in life.”
The UNICEF is a United Nations’ program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It also works for children’s rights, their survival, development and protection.
Greeted by four UNICEF junior ambassadors — Rosalie (10 years), Amelie (10 years), Angelina (13 years) and Alicia (14 years) — who awarded the 7-footer with a basketball jersey with the UNICEF logo, Nowitzki — who founded the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation in 2005 to support vulnerable children and young people to develop to their full potential through sport and to foster their participation in society — then turned his attention to advocating children’s rights.
According to the UNICEF, malnutrition is responsible for one-third of child mortalities, chronically affecting 165 million kids and stunting or lowing heights for children worldwide. The UNICEF works to prevent such cases with cost-effective and nutrition-specific interventions.
“Dirk Nowitzki is a great asset for UNICEF,” executive director of the German committee for UNICEF Christian Schneider said while praising the superstar’s philanthropies. “His commitment is a message for countless young and old people: join in and help make the world a better place for children.”