Hannover, 10 August 2011. For two years Aids-activist Joachim Franz has been heightening HIV / Aids awareness with a series of spectacular actions and campaigns. The expedition which has just ended, “Move the World”, succeeded beyond all expectations. With the support of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Joachim Franz and his team were on the road for 111 days. 54 countries on five continents, and a distance covered of 64,452 km, all with the aim of bringing people to a readiness to address the issue of HIV / Aids, as well as collecting money for awareness projects.

Franz and his fellow activists spent most of the time on the expedition in five Volkswagen Amarok. “The standard vehicles with the offroad package became our living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and workrooms all in one. Despite the extreme stresses imposed on the chassis, in particular on the African Continent, the Amarok didn’t show the slightest signs of fatigue over the entire run. And another really amazing thing was that even after almost 65,000 kilometres we were still sitting just as comfortably as we had been at the start. Right to the end, not a single driver complained about back problems, and that was despite runs of up to 1,400 kilometres a day”, says expedition leader Joachim Franz, full of praise for the Amarok.

With the expedition at an end, the vehicles will now be completely dismantled for research purposes. “We are absolutely delighted with the way the Amarok performed. The vehicles really came through this massive stress test with flying colours, and we are now looking to see which of the vehicle components and parts subject to wear were exposed to particularly heavy burdens”, explains Harald Schomburg, Member of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for Sales and Marketing.

With the return to Frankfurt, the expedition with the vehicles may be at an end, but the World Aids Awareness Expedition is far from over. The important thing now is to turn the success of the undertaking into cash money, by way of sponsorship and donations. The aim is to promote specific projects and, in particular, to set up an Internet platform, which will be accessible, as a kind of information and experience exchange, to all organizations interested in providing assistance by way of concepts and proposals in the fight against HIV / Aids. In the coming weeks the team based around Franz will be making an assessment of the results of the Round Table discussions and presenting specific ideas for the following two years of the “Move the World“ campaign.

The Expedition Diary can be found at: www.waae.de

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