Traveling from Kenya down to Southern Africa and back showing free live World Cup matches thanks to a retractable screen, a projector, and Digital Satellite Television. The “Traveling World Cup Experience” will connect people as well as help people, leveraging the popularity of the World Cup to deliver vital AIDS education to people most affected by the disease.
Love of the Game
Our goal is to offer free live matches projected onto our retractable screen, to people who adore football. All over the continent, one sees children as well as adults playing the game. Sometimes the football is comprised of nothing more than a bunch of crumpled up plastic bags tied together with string. Local football games are always well attended and rivalry between local village teams is as heated as any team rivalry in Europe. Teams from Europe’s big leagues have their supporters in Africa as they do all over the world. Walls in local bars, restaurants and village barbershops are adorned with newspaper clippings containing pictures of Beckham, Ronaldo and African greats such as George Weah and Roger Milla. Even if their native country does not make it to the World Cup, the tournament is followed just as eagerly. Who can forget the celebrations all over the continent when Senegal beat the defending champions in the opening game of the last World Cup? Many people who did not own a television or could not afford the entrance fee demanded by the “village cinemas” only heard about the result through radio or word of mouth, but this did not hamper any celebrations. In the part of the world with the least access to media coverage of the tournament, the enthusiasm and passion for the game is as strong as anywhere.
Life Saving Education
Before every live football game and during half-time we shall screen AIDS / HIV awareness videos freely available from UN-AIDS and local organizations within each country. In addition at planned sections of the journey we shall be coordinating and meeting up with local organizations and AIDS workers, working together to further leverage the “Traveling World Cup Experience”. Sub-Saharan Africa has just over 10% of the world’s population, but is home to more than 60% of all people living with HIV. In 2005, an estimated 3.2 million people in the region became newly infected, while 2.4 million adults and children died of AIDS (Source: UNAIDS 2005). There are many organizations both local and international working on AIDS education within the region. While there is hardly a lack of resources available, the challenge lies in delivering the information to the populations that need it the most. We believe our “Traveling World Cup Experience,” when applied with cultural and audience sensitivity, is the perfect vehicle for the dissemination of critical information to targeted viewers. While the educational videos will be watched by all the football fans, the people most interested in the game, adolescent males, also happen to be one of the most critical demographics in need of AIDS and HIV Education.In addition, the free viewing of World Cup games will hopefully break boundaries, acting as an ice breaker, allowing local AIDS workers to interact with people who might otherwise be unreceptive.
Variety of Viewers
Every match day we shall be on a different road, connecting with diverse people from contrasting cultures. Some matches might be watched by one or two Masaai herders, while others might excite a whole village, including women and children. Our journey will take us through eight countries with very different geographic areas, through the savannah and bush, down the Swahili coast, and into small villages and larger towns. All types of people will enjoy and celebrate the tournament through our retractable screen.
Recent technological advances in hardware and software are perfectly suited to realize the traveling “World Cup Experience.” The South African based Multichoice Network with its Digital Satellite Television (DStv) covers all the countries that we will be traveling through, while the South African based sports channel Supersport is broadcasting all of the World Cup games live from Germany. Using a small portable satellite dish and a decoder, every village and town from Kenya to South Africa can receive clear, live football coverage. Together with a laptop computer, a specialized USB TV adapter, a digital projector, a retractable screen and a portable generator, the car can be transformed into a true mobile football experience.
The one to two hour time difference between Germany and Southern Africa makes for ideal light conditions for the projection of the matches. All matches will be transmitted in the early hours of the night, allowing them to be viewed in the darkness required for clear screening. Matches starting at 16:00 German Time will be shown at 17:00 / 18:00 Southern African Time, matches staring 18:00 German time will begin at 19:00 / 20:00 SA time, and those beginning at 21:00 German time will start at 22:00 / 23:00 SA time.
The team proposing this trip is made up of diverse and dynamic group of individuals who either grew up in Africa or spend a lot of time working or traveling on the continent. All are actively involved in their own fields and will bring something unique to the trip’s documentation process. We shall be traveling with video recorders (digital & analogue), cameras, a laptop and a large external hard drive. Throughout the journey we will document, through still and moving images, the experience of each match day. The end result will be a compelling and moving documentary, in the form of a video collage created by all the trip’s participants describing the campaign and what we learned from it. In addition, we have a web server where we will be recording events and uploading media as the journey progresses.
For more information please check out the Team and the News/Activities section of the site.