Zambia Marches for World AIDS Day
December 10, 2010
December 1st is the annual recognition of World AIDS Day, one that remains highly relevant as HIV/AIDS is still an epidemic 22 years after the first global commemoration in 1988. This year’s global theme for WAD was "Universal Access & Human Rights." From this Zambia developed a country-specific theme of “Access to Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support is My Right.”
The Foundation’s office in Lusaka started the day early, joined by children and staff from one of our partners, Africa Directions, and all were ferried to the starting point of a World AIDS Day march.
Staff from the Zambia office preparing to march on World AIDS Day.
The march began at 9 a.m., with several government and non-governmental organizations participating. The different groups marched for about 3 kilometers, ending at the Olympic Youth Development Centre where the World AIDS Day commemoration for Lusaka was held. The Guest of Honor at the commemoration was the Minister of Lusaka Province, Honorable Charles Shawa. Other distinguished guests included representatives from the National AIDS Council; the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Lawrence Marum; Lusaka District Commissioner, Ms Christah Kalulu; Mandevu Area Member of Parliament, the Honorable Jean Kapata; and Representatives of the Network of Zambian People Living with HIV, among others.
Staff marching with children from Africa Directions.
Several organizations working on different aspects of HIV/AIDS set up booths to share their work and offer voluntary HIV counseling and testing services. The Foundation team displayed materials and shared information about our work not only here in Zambia but also around the world, including the showing of Nigel Barker’s Generation Free video.
The Honorable Minister Shawa and other government officials toured the grounds and made a stop at the Foundation booth, where the team discussed our partnerships with CIDRZ, Africa Directions, and Macha. The minister took with him a Foundation bag, T-shirt, brochures and a collection of “From the Ground Up” books.
The Honorable Minister (of Lusaka Province) Shawa (far right) visits the Foundation booth.
The booth was teeming with visitors throughout the day!
Philip Koni is Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the Foundation, based in Lusaka, Zambia