“The U.N. said in a statement that Williams’ was hoping to see how young Senegalese, particularly girls, are progressing in relation to the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, which include cutting extreme poverty by half, ensuring that all people have access to clean water and sanitation, and universal primary education — all by 2015.
“Williams was invited to Senegal by the U.N. Office of Sport for Development and Peace in New York, where she attended the first U.N. Global Youth Leadership Summit on Monday.
“The tennis star will meet women and children working on anti-poverty projects, talk with President Abdoulaye Wade and conduct tennis demonstrations, the statement said. She'll also tour U.N. development projects in the country and visit Goree Island, from where countless Africans were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas as slaves centuries ago.
“Though tennis courts exist in Senegal, the sport is not popular among young people, most of whom prefer soccer.”
Prior to her travels to Africa:
“Williams joined Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade and others at a U.N. press conference to promote the first U.N. Global Youth Leadership Summit.
“The meeting began last Sunday and brought together two representatives from each of the 192 member U.N. states—young man and a woman between the ages of 18 and 30—to discuss helping the organization achieve its Millennium Development Goals.
“The goals include cutting extreme poverty by half, ensuring that all people have access to clean water and sanitation, and universal primary education—all by 2015.
“Serena said that, as a member of the next generation of leaders, it was important for her to speak in support of the summit. ‘Now is the time to realize that we’re here, this is our generation, and we can make a statement and we can fight different diseases and we can fight poverty and we beat this.’ ”
Before Senegal, Serena stopped in Ghana earlier in the week. For an excellent article covering the Ghana trip, click here:http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ghana_36471.html
Read Serena’s blog about Africa here: