Save the Children Launches Fastathon LIVE 2012 Campaign to Generate Support for Millions Facing Hunger Crisis in Africa

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Global Gaming Champion “Athene” Helps to Mobilize Online Community

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Abby Safirstein 203.221.4231 or 914.552.5711
Wendy Christian 203-221-3767 or 203.465.8010

WESTPORT, Conn. (August 22, 2012) — The international humanitarian agency, Save the Children, will launch Fastathon LIVE 2012, its new campaign to address the hunger crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, through a live stream broadcast from Mali and Westport on Thursday, August 23. Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles will moderate the broadcast from Mali, along with hunger response program staff members and families who have benefitted from the assistance provided by Save the Children.

“When a hurricane or earthquake hits, it makes front page news,” said Miles. “But a slow onset emergency like a hunger crisis rarely gets into the headlines until many lives are lost. We are using live streaming technology and social media to show people that we can support these children and families, if we act now.”

Over 18 million people are facing hunger across the Sahel region of West Africa, which includes Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, due to crop production shortages, abnormally high food prices and civil insecurity. Save the Children has worked in this region for more than 30 years and began operating a comprehensive response program at the start of this hunger crisis, treating malnourished children in nutrition centers, distributing supplementary food rations and helping families and communities to have more secure food sources through improved agricultural and livestock raising practices.

“In Mali alone, the food crisis is affecting 4.6 million people, and more than a third of the children are suffering from chronic malnutrition,” reported Miles, who is in Mali this week to see our response work first hand. “I’m seeing families who cannot provide their children with the nutritious foods they need to grow, physically and cognitively, and are forced to skip meals. Americans are extremely generous people, and I believe they will take action to help these children once they understand what happening in this part of the world.”

Joining Miles on the live stream broadcasts will be global gaming champion “Athene,” who is also in Mali to help mobilize the gaming community and other social networks to support this campaign. People can participate in the interactive broadcast at 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time, give up meals for a day or support someone who is fasting in order to help children at risk of malnutrition.

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