Health - Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has donated US$30,000 to a New York-based South African AIDS activist and transatlantic rower, Victor Mooney, according to a statement issued in New York on Tuesday. The statement, made available to PANA, said the donation would enable Mooney to participate in the Goree Challenge in a boat christened `the Spirit of Malabo’ for a fourth bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean later this year from the Canary Islands to New York.
The Goree Challenge is a 5,000-mile solo transatlantic row from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, to New York City and will hold later this year.
The Challenge mission is to encourage voluntary HIV testing, increase access to antiretroviral
medicine for those who need them and advocate for prevention for an AIDS-free generation.
Mr. Mooney has lost one brother to AIDS and has another battling the disease. With the immediate funding, Mr. Mooney can purchase an ocean row boat that is currently in Brazil. The 24-foot custom made ocean row boat was built by Flab - Construçao Artesanal de Embarcaçoes.
When the vessel arrives in New York, Kingsborough Community College and SUNY Maritime College, the funds will help get the boat ready for the Atlantic crossing and assist with Mr. Mooney’s nautical training, the statement said.
The statement quoted the Equatorial Guinea leader to have also called for a shared responsibility in fighting the disease.
An estimated 34 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, with more than two-thirds living in developing countries. Nearly three-fourths of the 2.5 million new HIV infections in 2011 occurred
in these countries.
Goree Challenge IV – Spirit of Malabo is a project of the New York City-based South African Arts International (SAAI).
SAAI has also received an unprecedented amount of in-kind and moral support from over 70 corporations, an array of governments and global health institutions.