posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – February 11th, 2013
The Goree Challenge is a 5,000 mile solo transatlantic row from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York City and will begin later this year. The Goree 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. The Goree Challenge received the support of H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Presidentof the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Victor Mooney, AIDS activist and transatlantic rower of Queens will soon get another chance for a fourth bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean later this year from the Canary Islands to New York. 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’s currently in Brazil.
On Sunday, Mr. Mooney visited St. Paul’s Baptist Church and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn. In Manhattan, he was joined by H.E. Anatolio Ndong Mba, Ambassador for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Permanent Mission to the United Nations at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to exchange opinions about the project.
The 24 foot custom made ocean row boat was built by Flab – Construção. When the vessel arrives in New York, Kingsborough Community College and SUNY Maritime College will help get the boat ready for the Atlantic crossing and assist with Mr. Mooney’s nautical training.
On Mr. Mooney’s third attempt in 2011, his boat sank and he drifted for fourteen days in a life raft before a Greek Amver ship, the Norfolk, rescued and transported him to Brazil. He continues to hope that his voyage will encourage voluntary HIV testing, increase access to antiretroviral medicine for those who need them and advocate for prevention for an AIDS-free generation.
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 to 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 – 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 seventy corporations, an array of governments and global health institutions.