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Reaching the public and explaining MAG's mission are crucial parts to saving lives in Angola.
MAG made an appearance at the Angola Football Cup semi-final soccer matches this month as part of a coordinated effort to publicize its life-saving work and provide the community with current information about the significant levels of contamination in eastern Angola.
While it is estimated that the positive economic growth for Angola in 2007 may ultimately be as much as 20 percent, with annual oil production as high as 1.65 million barrels of oil per day, Angola remains desperately poor with a high degree of landmine contamination and other remnants of conflict.
Despite these constant threats to life, the levels of donor involvement in Angola are decreasing, making marketing drives and media coverage crucial to enable MAG to achieve its mission. Recently MAG's work has been featured in Angolan radio, television, and print media as well as various outlets around the world, such as the United Nations Integrated Regional News Network.
MAG has also engaged with local partners to publicize its logo and mission in less traditional venues such as music festivals, international fashion events, and soccer matches. This outreach has resulted in significant public attention for MAG Angola raising its profile both nationally and internationally.
The Angolan Football Cup is a prime example of this diversification. The games were transmitted throughout Africa on television and featured the final professional match for Angola's World Cup captain, Fabrice Akwa, a national demining ambassador. MAG is currently in discussions with the icon to lend his voice to MAG's life-saving work in the country.
|Text and photos by Mark Naftalin, Program Officer, Angola|