Campaigners from around the world came together on World AIDS Day, 1 December, to commemorate the theme of universal access and human rights.
The 2010 Global Update on the AIDS Epidemic by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) suggests that significant progress has been made in advancing access to HIV prevention, treatment, support and care over the past ten years, but notes that human rights approaches are crucial to further progress. (www.WorldAIDSCampaign.org)
For ROWAN, it’s more than a human rights issue–it’s a spiritual issue. In the village of Mawanga, ROWAN joins Compassion International, local church leaders, and Mawanga clinic to march to the beat of Hope. Community members were encouraged to go for free testing sponsored by the local community and over 300 were tested! Pastor Paul and Kelsey Young spoke about how ROWAN exists to fight alongside them in the battle against HIV/AIDS, however possible. ROWAN children stood up and spoke about what AIDS has done to their families:
AIDS does not discriminate nor segregate, young and old, ignorant and informed ones, black and whites- there’s no mercy. See how you took our parents and guardians with no relatives. Grandparents you left behind are too weak and poor to give support and protection. Why to live? Why to live? Honestly, we are young orphans living with HIV with no support in our homes. The challenges. The stage of suffering we have-–child abuse, child sacrifice–who will rescue us? Parents, local leaders, church, NGO’s where are you? You are the solution to give support and protection. Please impress our rights. Remember helping the poor is an act of worship.
(To watch a video of the children, click here: www.loveROWAN.com/Media )