On January 31, Dutch condom specialty shop Condomerie announced its plans to ship 2,000 condoms in the shape of "little blue helmets" from their store in Amsterdam to the Ivory Coast in hopes of raising awareness, easing tensions, and spreading around a little love.
The goal is that United Nation peacekeepers (often referred to as the Blue Helmets because of their light blue helmets or berets) stationed in the capital Abidjan will purchase the novelty condoms, with proceeds going to an Ivory Coast nonprofit called Sape Moderne, dedicated to AIDS prevention. The organization raises money via an annual soccer tournament project, in existence for five years in the Youpougon district of Abidjan. Condomerie has been involved with Sape Moderne since 2006, including helping to raise money to organize a fashion show in 2007 for AIDS prevention - all of the fashions on display featured a pocket to store a condom.
Founding director of Condomerie Theodoor Van Boven told Relaxnews that he hopes the project will inject a bit of humor in a country that is headed toward civil war. "We hope to balance the seriousness a little bit," he said, adding that he hopes the gesture will encourage more dialogue and less conflict in the struggling nation.
Another condom company with philanthropic ambitions is Sir Richard's, which offers vegan-friendly, 100 percent natural latex condoms. For each condom box you buy (around $14/€10 for a 12-pack at Fred Segal, Paul Smith, Whole Foods, Viceroy Hotels, and online), the company donates one to a person in need in developing countries. Choose from Pleasure Dots, Ultra Thin, Extra Large, Classic Ribbed, and a three-pack grab-bag in the company's signature plaid box design.