WASHINGTON – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned today from a listening and learning trip to Africa organized by DATA (debt AIDS trade Africa), www.data.org, the African advocacy organization founded by U2’s Bono.
Brady’s 8-day trip took him through Ghana and Uganda, where he visited health clinics, schools and other projects that are saving and transforming lives in Africa with the support of American funding and international cooperation.
“Tom is a true champion for Africa,” said Jamie Drummond, executive director of DATA. “Starting in early 2005 when he became the 1 millionth member of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History (www.one.org) Tom has been a leader in spreading awareness about the issues of African poverty and disease. We were thrilled that he wanted to spend time on the ground in Africa and learn more about how debt relief and U.S. funding to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty is making a difference — life by life, community by community.”
Among the sites Brady visited were a women’s micro credit program in Ghana sponsored by Opportunity International, a public primary school in Uganda partially funded by debt relief and TASO (The AIDS Support Organization) and an Ugandan HIV/AIDS clinic jointly funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“This was my first trip to Africa and it was an eye-opener,” said Brady. “I saw the best and brightest of the human spirit in the face of incredible poverty that most of us just can’t comprehend. I’ve learned that we as Americans, living in the greatest country in the world, can save innocent lives ravaged by AIDS with something as small as a 25 cent pill. When you see what CAN be done, it’s impossible to not be driven to do more — the needs are still overwhelming. This won’t be my last visit to Africa and I hope to pass along what I’ve learned here to others who will listen.”