The MENA Friends created a unique outreach campaign for Jordan this fall centered on a contest that effectively leveraged of interest in the 2010 World Cup, and sports in general, to raise awareness of Tuberculosis (TB) and other deadly diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and Malaria. During the 2010 World Cup, Friends MENA produced custom-made football cards featuring three questions about elite players who have adopted humanitarian causes such as Luis Figo and his effort against TB, David Beckham and his work against Malaria and Michael Balack and his support for combating HIV/AIDS. This unique campaign builds on the worldwide trend of celebrity advocacy for important causes by stars such as Angelina Jolie who has made significant contributions toward poverty relief in her role as Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR.
The contest was well publicized and attracted a robust turnout. Al Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC and the Specialty Hospital provided significant support for the event in order to spread health awareness throughout the Jordanian nation. Contest cards to the main trivia game contest were distributed throughout fourteen strategic high-volume sites throughout the Kingdom including video game centers, coffee shops and restaurants such as Cantina, Salute, Champions, Canvas, and Station. Altogether, roughly 3000 Jordanians participated in the contest, and 561 of them supplied the right answers to the contest questions. On Monday, October 13, 2010, Ms. Hana Ramadan from Hikma, and Dr. Fawzi Al Hamouri, General Manager of the Specialty Hospital, picked the names of the 18 contest winners, and on Monday 18/10/2010, Friends MENA hosted a celebration with the winners to present them with the awards. Prizes included in-demand items such as laptops.
The Friends of Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in the Middle East and North Africa (The Friends MENA) was established in 2009 through the generous financial contributions of H.E. Mr. Samih Darwazeh and Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC. Now based in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, The Friends MENA aims at raising the awareness of HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria in the MENA region. The Friends MENA is associated with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is based in Geneva and supports primarily underprivileged countries throughout the world. Since its establishment in 2002, it has saved 4.9 million lives through AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria control programs.