Mar
14
2008
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Angola – A Condom For Every Goal

More than a million people were killed in the civil war from 1975 to 2002, when the rebels ot UNTTA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, fought against: Marxist government troops. An estimated eight million mines are said to have been buried on Angolan territory. More than 40,000 have been defused in the five years since the war ended. Angola is a young country, having gained independence from its Portuguese colonial masters just 32 years ago. Most people are no older than 25. Many die in infancy; only a few reach old age.
Landmines no longer represent the greatest threat in everyday Angolan life, however. Year in, year out, more people are infected with the epidemic whose name many dare not speak. ”It’s the disease with no name,” says Jochen Cancer of German aid organisation Cap Anamtir. ”People with AIDS are ashamed to admit it.”
Cap Anamur has been battling AIDS in Oncocua for many years. Nevertheless, the virus continues to spread. In Angola, many youngsters have rhcir hrst sexual contact as young as twelve. Some men have several wives. ”Our job is to educate,” explains the 29-year-old social worker.
“Football tournaments arc an ideal way to reach people, especially youngsters.” As on this day: six teams have already arrived, two others are bogged down in the red mud somewhere in the bush. Around 200 spectators are dancing in the stand. The tournament begins. There are condoms for every goal and every victory. Ihe tournament winners are given condoms, too – plus a ball. Every so often, fans and players alike are informed about the disease with no name. “The huge enthusiasm for football helps us to bring AIDS to people’s attention,” says Canter.