The Lakers Summer: UNICEF Ambassador Pau Gasol Visits Chad

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Los Angeles Laker, Pau Gasol forfeited downtime after a long two week campaign at the 2012 London Olympics, where he helped the Spanish team take home a silver medal. Instead, Gasol headed to Chad on Thursday as part of a week-long trip in the Sahel region, which aims to raise awareness about the drought and food crisis that is contributing to malnutrition in the region.

Gasol is Spain’s UNICEF ambassador and is currently in Chad doing some very admirable charity work, despite the fact he looks exhausted and worn out all of his photographs since arriving. UNICEF is an agency that functions as part of the United Nations. It is the leading charitable organization for children and focuses on issues like child poverty, development, water and sanitation.

Gasol told the Los Angeles Times:

UNICEF started warning last year that this situation could happen and began to work on prevention and treatment,” Gasol said in a statement, “But not all children in need across the Sahel have been reached. I’m in Chad to remind people that 1 million children are at risk in the Sahel because of the nutritional crisis and that it is possible to end malnutrition.

Gasol has been Spain’s UNICEF ambassador since 2003 and in 2010 he visited Ethiopia. On his current trip, he has visited hospitals, nutritional centers and basketball courts throughout Chad.

Gasol tweets about his experiences via his twitter account.