Press Releases

Team Up For World Cup Soccer and Global Camps Africa

New York City – The much anticipated FIFA World Cup Soccer match in South Africa between theU.S and England will be televised at a viewing party Saturday, June 12 to benefit Global Camps Africa and children affected by HIV/AIDS. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m.at Vintage Irving/Side Bar located at 15th and Irving Pl., Union Square, NYC. Special guest, Rima Fakih, Miss USA, is scheduled to appear prior to the start of the match.

This matchup is the first time the U.S. has faced England in a World Cup since a famous upset 60 years ago when the United States, against all odds, defeated England 1–0 in what has been named the "Miracle on Grass". The game and the U.S. team were profiled in the book "The Game of Their Lives" by Geoffrey Douglas, which was later made into a film. At the time, England considered itself the "King of Football"; the odds were 3–1 the English would win the World Cup, and 500–1 for the U.S.

Proceeds from the benefit will support Global Camps Africa (GCA), a U.S. based nonprofit that provides a unique camp experience and ongoing support for children in South Africa affected by HIV/AIDS. The camps, which serve thousands of children, are part education, part HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and part crucial life skills all wrapped up in a spirit of fun and camaraderie. Three 9-day camps are held each year. Boys' and girls' camps alternate, bringing together 135 children each session. The children are from 11-16 years of age and largely from the Soweto area of Johannesburg. Follow-up support is provided at bi-weekly Kids Clubs in Soweto where up to one thousand children show up each Saturday that Kids Clubs are held.

In anticipation of the impact of the World Cup, this past April GCA presented training near Pretoria to nearly 200 representatives of 65 South African NGO's to prepare them to provide camps during the World Cup when many schools in South Africa will close.

The viewing party will include 2-for1 drinks, big screen viewing of the match and a silent auction including autographed soccer merchandise, tickets to New York Red Bulls matches and vouchers to fine dining in New York City along with a number of other items.

Tickets to the pre-game gourmet brunch and viewing party from noon to 5 p.m. are $100 VIP (which includes a special gift) and $75 General Admission. Tickets to the viewing party from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. are $40 through June 11 and $50 at the door. Space is limited so advance ticket purchase online at http://globalcampsafrica.eventbrite.com is encouraged.

American-Style Camps Teach Life-Changing HIV/AIDS Lessons During World Cup

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While all eyes are on the World Cup in South Africa, local NGOs caution that school closings, influx of tourists, and relaxation of border controls leave children susceptible to exploitation, petty crime, prostitution, and drug dealing. South Africa is already riddled with one of the highest prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS. But a unique collaboration of Africans and Americans is tackling the problem. Camps for youth in Africa to teach life skills have grown in popularity. Global Camps Africa (GCA) was founded in 2004 as an HIV/AIDS prevention/education program by Phil Lilienthal, a Virginia attorney who ran Camp Winnebago in Maine for 30 years. Six years and 33 camps later, GCA has reached more than 4,200 children in South Africa.

In partnership with HIVSA, a South African-based NGO, GCA holds residential camps and bi-weekly Kids Clubs each year for children aged 11-16 years mostly from Soweto. Traditional recreational activities of a U.S. camp are combined with HIV/AIDS awareness, Voluntary Counseling and Testing, and life skills.

In April 2010, GCA shared its model through training funded by USAID/PACT to 65 South African NGOs.

Mr. Lilienthal notes, "Camp is a profound educational tool to change children's lives in a way that schools in South Africa have not been able to do."

According to UNAIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the world’s largest population of people living with HIV. In South Africa, 18% of the population are infected compared to an estimated 23% in neighboring Kingdom of Lesotho.

Reaching across African borders, GCA worked with the Office of the First Lady of Lesotho and the International Association of Applied Psychology, a UN-accredited NGO, and US Doctors for Africa to hold a “Girls Empowerment Camp” before the World Cup for forty school drop-out females.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, internationally noted clinical psychologist, IAAP NGO representative to the UN, and faculty member of Columbia University Teachers College, and IAAP team member Mary O’Neill Berry, partnered in implementing and evaluating the program.

Says Kuriansky, “The camp was powerful in teaching the girls HIV risk reduction behaviors and income generating activities crucial to resist being seduced into ‘transactional sex’ for money for food, clothes or school.”

The First Lady of Lesotho, Mrs. Mathato Mosisili, lauded the South African and Sesothan teams, and the Americans' expertise as a promising approach to reduce the serious shared health problem.