'The Three Amigos' Anti-Aids Campaign to be Distributed by UNESCO for 2007 Aids Day

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The Three Amigos, a series of twenty (20) world-class animated Public Service Announcements (PSAs) designed to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the world will be mass distributed by UNESCO for Aids Day, December 1, 2007. Ottawa, Canada-based Director and Producer of The Three Amigos, Firdaus Kharas said: "UNESCO is the perfect partner for The Three Amigos campaign. I welcome its offer to distribute the DVDs in order to increase the availability of resources for use on Aids Day. Already, the PSAs are being used to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in 72 countries. With UNESCO's assistance, we should reach our goal of 100 countries." Speaking for UNESCO, Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, says: "Good communication and information such as The Three Amigos campaign can greatly help to prevent HIV/AIDS: it allows people to revise the metaphors and stigmas and to develop new projects to prevent the virus. UNESCO is pleased to support this initiative as it addresses a large variety of people in a culturally appropriate manner." The Three Amigos is a series of purposely varied animated spots that use humour to counter the spread of HIV/AIDS. The series has been adapted into 41 languages, thereby enabling potentially 80% of the world's population to see the series in their own language.

The Three Amigos, a series of twenty (20) world-class animated Public Service Announcements (PSAs) designed to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the world will be mass distributed by UNESCO for Aids Day, December 1, 2007.

Ottawa, Canada-based Director and Producer of The Three Amigos, Firdaus Kharas said: "UNESCO is the perfect partner for The Three Amigos campaign. I welcome its offer to distribute the DVDs in order to increase the availability of resources for use on Aids Day. Already, the PSAs are being used to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in 72 countries. With UNESCO's assistance, we should reach our goal of 100 countries."

Speaking for UNESCO, Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, says: "Good communication and information such as The Three Amigos campaign can greatly help to prevent HIV/AIDS: it allows people to revise the metaphors and stigmas and to develop new projects to prevent the virus. UNESCO is pleased to support this initiative as it addresses a large variety of people in a culturally appropriate manner."

The Three Amigos is a series of purposely varied animated spots that use humour to counter the spread of HIV/AIDS. The series has been adapted into 41 languages, thereby enabling potentially 80% of the world's population to see the series in their own language.

The Three Amigos has been used intensively in a wide variety of countries, ranging from liberal democracies to conservative theocracies, from countries in southern Africa where AIDS is rampant, to countries on the threshold of a possible AIDS crisis in Asia and Eastern Europe. Broadcasters have donated millions of dollars worth of free air time to air the series, in some cases up to 20 times a day. Thousands of health clinics, hospitals, non-governmental organizations and universities across the world currently use the series. DVDs are distributed free of charge.

The series has received 30 international awards and hundreds of articles in many languages have been written on its creation and impact. This past June, the series was awarded a prestigious Peabody Award.

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the principal supporter who has called the series in an open letter "a powerful communicating tool" and has written, "...In creating the The Three Amigos PSAs (you) have made an outstanding contribution to the campaign against HIV infection in providing material that can be easily understood by most people irrespective of language or culture". Hundreds of testimonials from around the world have been received from every walk of life, from powerful government officials to AIDS educators to ordinary people whose behaviour has been influenced by the series.

A detailed Frequently Asked Questions and further information can be obtained at http://www.thethreeamigos.org. One PSA per language is currently streaming on The Three Amigos website. Further information on Mr. Kharas is available at http://www.kharas.ca

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Further information can be found at http://www.unesco.org.

For additional information and interviews please contact:
Kita Szpak, KS Communications. Tel: (1) 613-798-8333 or (1) 613-725-3063.

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FIRDAUS KHARAS

Kita Szpak
KS Communications
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