Monday, August 15, 2005

The ads are up! They look sweet!

We, along with everybody else in Cologne (wow!), saw today for the first time in person the giant Condoms4Life ads covering the walls of the Cologne subway system. These posters look awesome and are sure to get attention for the World Youth Day 4 All Coalition. Check it out!

The C4L ads are displayed in lots of the subway stations, but you can see most of them at the Dom/Cathedral station in the center of the city. Hopefully, other kids here at WYD will notice the messages, such as "Good Catholics Use Condoms" and "Abstinence Has a High Failure Rate" and get smart about safe sex education. The ads are in German, English, and Spanish, so just about everyone who passes them in the stations should be able to read them.

As you probably read in the previous posting today, we held a press conference where we talked about the mission of the World Youth Day 4 All Coalition, which is to address the Vatican’s opposition to condom use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Youth from around the world had the opportunity to share their views on this issue and each person was able to provide their own unique voice as a representative of their region of the world. Unfortunately, our partner from Ghana, Etse Sikanku, was denied a visa by the Germany consulate in Accra and we had to read a message in his behalf. Question for German foreign affairs officials: Why agree to have WYD in Cologne and then make it impossible for many Catholics from poor countries to attend?

We're finding tons of other people our age here who are at WYD to educate people about progressive ideas like church reform, women's rights, (honest) HIV/AIDS education, and GLBT rights (among others). It's so cool to meet other people from around the world who share both our commitment to youth activism and our Catholic identity. Basically, we're having a rockin' time here in Cologne and seeing these posters today really made us feel that we've established a presence here.