Brooklyn Honors Mandela on Rowboat Across Atlantic Ocean
Victor Mooney, executive director and founder of South African Arts International, will be joined by community leaders to invite the public to have their name on his rowboat - "The Spirit of Malabo," which he has dedicated to Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Mooney will used this vessel to encourage voluntary HIV testing with a five-thousand mile ocean row from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to Brooklyn, New York with a re-supply in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) early next year.
"Nineteen years ago, Mr. Mandela simply said 'follow your heart' in Capetown, South Africa and I haven't stopped," Victor Mooney said.
About 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 20 percent of them are unaware they are infected. There are 53,000 new HIV infections diagnosed each year in the U.S., and 14 percent of these infections occur in 13-25-year-olds.
Today, 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 - The Spirit of Malabo is a project for the South African Arts International (SAAI). SAAI is a New York State registered not-for-profit organization. The Mission of SAAI is to promote multimedia events in venues all over the world; to exhibit the works of artist, artisans, musicians, scholars and professionals; to facilitate worldwide cultural understanding; disseminate and exchange international art and culture; to provide scholarships, sponsor cultural events and artistic seminars; to increase awareness of global pandemic of HIV/AIDS; and to finance these activities through soliciting contributions and funding from both private and public resources.