Congo Expedition 2010
Project on Hold
We would like to give you an update on the status of the malaria advocacy initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the “Congo Expedition”. Unfortunately, this unprecedented venture can’t be realized in summer 2010, and we have to hold off on further planning. However, postponed is not abandoned!
Thanks to your input, advice and support we have been able to develop a compelling project idea, and were able to discuss the initiative and its goals in one-on-one interviews in Africa, Europe and the US as well as during conferences like the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board meeting. After extensive site visits to the DRC and meetings with local partners, government and UN agencies, we also managed to assess the river along its entire length and develop a strategy for logistics and media. There has been a considerable investment of time and money from our side to lay the groundwork for a possible expedition. But every minute set aside and every dollar spent was worth the effort, as we have a logistics plan in place, have found great partners on the ground for the implementation of malaria activities, and have secured the support and engagement of the government and other strategic partners. Together, we are ready to go.
Unfortunately, however, the financial commitments made so far do not enable us to realize the expedition as planned, and they also do not cover the costs of a downsized version. At this point we therefore have to hold off on further planning. As all the necessary groundwork has been done, all the necessary information has been gathered, and the advocacy value of an expedition like that has been proven, it is nevertheless worthwile to continue exploring the idea of highlighting the successes and challenges of malaria work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in having this project custom-tailored for you.
Andy Leemann & Helge Bendl
The “Congo Expedition”, which is aimed to build on the success of the 2008 RBM Zambezi Expedition, could document successful anti-malaria initiatives, mobilize communities and regions, and leverage politial and civil society response. It could highlight the increased efforts to fight malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond and lobby for an even greater scale up of malaria control in countries affected by the disease.
The Congo Expedition, which would be integrated into ongoing health campaigns by the government, the private sector and NGOs, could highlight the progress in the fight against malaria. The DRC is the best example to show that great successes can be achieved even in the most difficult places – by using resources more efficiently and cooperatively, saving money and reaching more people. 2010, prior and during the FIFA soccer world cup, will be the ideal time to tell those positive stories in a period of increased interest in Africa in general and the DRC in particular (the DRC is commemorating its 50th year of independence).