Foundation Begins Transition of HIV/AIDS Programs to Local Organization; Fondation Ariel Glaser Launches in Côte d’Ivoire
Pour lire cette page et le communiqué de presse sur le lancement de la Fondation Ariel Glaser, veuillez cliquer ici.
Nicolas Djibo, President of the Executive Council of Fondation Ariel Glaser; Prof. Thérèse N’dri Yoman, Minister of Health and AIDS; Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire; Chip Lyons, President and CEO of EGPAF; and children born HIV-free as a result of PMTCT services provided through Project HEART. (Photo: www.abidjan.net)
In February 2012, EGPAF announced the launch of Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte contre le Sida Pédiatrique, also known as Fondation Ariel Glaser, in Côte d’Ivoire. The new organization, which is closely and voluntarily affiliated with the Foundation, represents a timely step forward in EGPAF’s efforts to increase and support country-led HIV programming, to expand national capacity, and to empower local partners.
The event, which took place on February 14, 2012 at Espace Crystal in Abidjan, was attended by approximately 300 people. EGPAF and Fondation Ariel Glaser were honored to welcome speakers including Madame Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire and founding member of the Children of Africa Foundation; Prof. Thérèse N’Dri Yoman, Minister of Health and AIDS; Chip Lyons, President and CEO of EGPAF; and Mr. Nicolas Djibo, President of the Fondation Ariel Glaser Executive Council. EGPAF and Fondation Ariel Glaser were also grateful to have in attendance Côte d'Ivoire PEPFAR Coordinator Jennifer Walsh; the country representative of UNICEF Mr. Hervé Ludovic de Lys; acting CDC co-chief of party Alexandre Ekra; and Dr. Virginie Ettiegne-Traoré, Director of the National Program for Care and Treatment of People Living with HIV/AIDS, along with the majority of staff from EGPAF/Côte d'Ivoire and Fondation Ariel Glaser. The staff were wearing dresses, skirts, and shirts made from specially-designed pagnes
(African wax fabric) designed in a public-private partnership with local producer Uniwax to benefit Fondation Ariel Glaser.
Members of the children’s choir of FemmesActives, a Project HEART sub-partner, at thelaunch event. The children are HIV-free as aresult of Project HEART. (Photo: EGPAF)
Opening the series of speeches, Mr. Nicolas Djibo presented the mission and vision of Fondation Ariel Glaser and concluded with a strong message, calling for action for children because according to him, “The time for beautiful words is over – it is now the time for action that saves lives and contributes to create a generation free from HIV for our children. Let us act fast now. Together, we can eliminate pediatric AIDS. It is a dream! It is our dream! It is the dream of Fondation Ariel Glaser! Together we can do it.”
His speech was followed by Chip Lyons, President and CEO of EGPAF. “Our mission to reach all the families in Côte d’Ivoire who need our help is what drives us to the creation of local organizations," said Lyons during the launch event. "We know that local solutions are very effective and without local ownership, our efforts cannot be sustained…Our two organizations will work as partners to share lessons learned, strengthen processes and data, document best practices, and build technical and operational capacity.”
Launch event organizers Jacqueline
Dreesen, Transition Coordinator, EGPAF and
Gilberte Koffi, Communications Officer,
Fondation Ariel Glaser. (Photo: EGPAF)
The Minister of Health and AIDS expressed her delight in being able to participate in the event and that she would be “able to count on Fondation Ariel Glaser.” She took the opportunity to renew her determination “to commit her department and all HIV actors to the elimination of pediatric HIV/AIDS and to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.”
One of the most moving parts of the ceremony, however, came when a couple and their two children arrived at the podium; they were beneficiaries of PMTCT services provided through Project HEART. After both adults tested positive for HIV during her first pregnancy in 2000, they received assistance from local NGO Femmes Actives, which would later become a Project HEART sub-partner. In 2011, their second son was born HIV-free, just as their first was. They brought a message of thanks and hope to the room, and encouraged all men to be involved with their partners’ prenatal care and to accept HIV testing as a couple. As they left the stage, 10 children born HIV-free thanks to PMTCT services at Koumassi General Hospital, a Project HEART-supported site, sang “Un Chant d’Espoir” ("A Song of Hope") to great applause.
Taking the podium, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire and founding member of the Children of Africa Foundation, emphasized that AIDS “could not continue to victimize and deprive our children of their most beautiful years if organizations committed to their wellbeing would unite their energies to fight hand in hand.” She expressed her vision for the future as one in which children can grow up without HIV/AIDS, and encouraged and expressed deep support for all actors engaged in the fight, including NGOs, associations, international organizations, and governments, which through their actions will allow the country to reach the “zero objective”: zero new HIV infections in Côte d'Ivoire.
Chip Lyons (middle) with the FondationAriel Glaser executive team. Nathalie Krou
Danho, Technical Director; Nelly Kouadio,Director for Operations and Administration;Kanon Abokon, Senior Technical Advisor
for HSS and Transition; and Anthony Tanoh,Executive Director. (Photo: EGPAF)
As it works to eliminate pediatric AIDS and provide care and treatment for people living with HIV in Côte d'Ivoire, Fondation Ariel Glaser is implementing innovative strategies to respond to the national HIV epidemic and to ensure access to sustainable health services for children, women, and families.
In addition, Fondation Ariel Glaser collaborates with the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health and partners, including EGPAF, to support the provision of high-quality HIV services – and to ensure that its efforts are well integrated into existing regional and district health systems.
The event and the press conference that preceded it were covered in at least seven national and city newspapers and featured in news coverage on the national TV channel RTI. Coverage featured photos of Mr. Lyons, Mr. Djibo, Mr. de Lys, and Prof. N’dri Yoman with Madame Ouattara and had three main focuses: the fact that 63,000 children are living with HIV in Côte d'Ivoire, the national goal of reducing incidence of new pediatric HIV infections to zero, and EGPAF’s launching of Fondation Ariel Glaser.
In this video, Dr. Anthony Tanoh, executive director of Fondation Ariel Glaser, discusses his organization’s work in Côte d’Ivoire – and the indelible impact of Project HEART on the country.