ATLANTA, GA, June 4, 2010 – The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX), operator of the Tenke Fungurume Mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced today a youth soccer tournament being held in Kinshasa, DRC to raise awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and malaria. The tournament is part of a celebration leading up to the DRC 50th Anniversary, which will take place on June 30th, 2010.
The soccer tournament will be held in Kinshasa on June 4-6, 2010 and will include youth (ages 12-18) selected from each of the 24 Kinshasa neighborhoods. The aim of the event is to provide an opportunity to bring disadvantaged youth from across Kinshasa together to teach healthy behaviors, raise awareness on disease prevention, and promote youth development and leadership through sports. Over 50% of the population in the DRC is under the age of 18, and youth development programs targeting education, health and leadership are one of the most important investments in the future of the DRC.
Tenke Fungurume Mining and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation are being joined by partners from the DRC government, UNICEF, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to share the message with the youth players and others about the risks of these diseases, how they are spread and how to prevent infection. According to PNLP (National Programme against Malaria), malaria is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in children and youth in DRC. Every year, about 180,000 deaths occur due to malaria. According to the National Programme Against AIDS (PNLS), HIV prevalence in pregnant women is 4,3% and the same percentage applies to the youth aged 15 to 24. Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA player and founder of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, will also be present at the event to speak to the youth about the critical role that they have to play in the country. “The development of a nation depends on the youth because the future of our society lies in their hands”, states Dikembe Mutombo.
Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) is committed to initiatives to improve public health, education, and social programs in the community located near TFM’s operations as well as throughout the DRC. TFM’s social and community development programs continue to expand, including malaria abatement programs, provision of clean water through potable water wells, HIV/AIDS peer education, new health facilities, development of local micro-enterprise businesses, agricultural capacity-building initiatives, and several new schools. Information about these programs is available on the company web site, www.fcx.com. Founded in 1997, the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Foundation strives to accomplish this goal not only by providing comprehensive health care at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, but also through an emphasis on primary health care and disease prevention, the promotion of health policy, health research and increased access to health care education for the people of the Congo. Additional information about the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is available on their web site, www.dmf.org.
If you have any questions, please contact Susan Johnson at 404 262 2109 in Atlanta or Ruffin Nsumbu at +243 9999983063 in Kinshasa.