Home > Special UN Days > World AIDS Day 2013: Reaching-out to make a difference

World AIDS Day 2013: Reaching-out to make a difference

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. It is special day each year and presents a great opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV. It is a special day to show our support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died.

Significantly, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
Globally, an estimated 34 million
people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus.

In the words published on the World AIDS Day website, “Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination
remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not
gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.”

At Golden Minds Nigeria, we have chosen to mark this day in a special way by featuring two HIV/AIDS sensitisation and campaign projects by two Nigerian youths, Olivet Aberare, and our very own, Senator Ihenyen.

Whilst Olivet Aberare’s CPETs Project on National Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS Awareness, Counselling and Testing inspires us all as a project solely organised by her during her National Youth Service in October 2013, Senator Ihenyen’s project is a refreshing literary response to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Enjoy our special feature and don’t forget to drop your comment! Remember it’s World AIDS Day: make a difference!

Olivet Aberare’s CPETs Project on National Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS Awareness, Counselling and Testing

Oliveth%20Handbill

CPETs is an acronym for Corps Peer Educator Trainers. It is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education through its national co-ordinator on
HIV/AIDS unit in collaboration with the NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) to use corps members to create awareness in schools and in the community were they are posted to.

The aim of the group is for each Corps/PET member to train 40 children who in turn will train their own peers. This way the word gets
around, and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and teenage pregnancy is curbed.

On how Olivet Aberare, a Lawyer, started the project, she says:
“I received my training in camp as a PET and had been working in Modakeke-Ife for the duration of my service year. I decided to do my passing-out project on this topics and to reach the larger community.”

Of course, projects such as this would need a lot of planning. How did she manage to plan the project, particularly being a corper in another state, you would ask? “In planning the project, I wrote letters to several institutions including banks, companies and individuals in and outside Osun State. I didn’t get favourable response from these sources, so I had to generate funds personally and was assisted by family and friends.”

Interesting! And did the benefiting community also give any helping hand? one would wonder: “I got assistance from Obafemi Awolowo
University Teaching Hospital Urology Clinic. They provided 100 testing kits and two packet of condoms. Also the venue was provided free of charge by the Modakeke Community
Development Committee.”

olivetIMG-20131005-01147

A law graduate from the University of Benin, Benin City, Olivet Aberare shares with us her target for the project. “The target for the project was to reach out to 1000 persons and get at least 300 persons tested. To realise this target, I printed 1000 copies of handbills and it was distributed around the community, with the support of other PETs members as well as friends during a sensitisation rally carried out on the 5th of October 2013.”

On the 7th of October, 2013, the main day for the well-publicised event, not only did participants and volunteers turn up, their were also resource persons to facilitate the sensitisation project. In the words of Olivet Aberare, “The main event was on the 7th of October 2013. There were several lectures given on HIV/AIDS, STIs, Teenage Pregnancy and general reproductive health. The speakers were Mrs. Adekunmbi from the Urology Clinic OAUTH, other C-PETs members and myself. After the
lecture, the test was carried out.”
olivetIMG-20131005-01154

And during the event, although turn-out was not on the high side, she was happy she was able to make a difference in her own little way. Of the several participant of the events, sixty five(65) persons volunteers got tested. Olivet believes the intended message had been passed across:
olivetIMG-20131005-01146
“Although the turnout was poor, and I was a bit discouraged because of the time, energy and finances expended in the execution of the project, I was however glad that the message I intended to pass was achieved. So I would say it was a successful project in all.”

Senator Ihenyen’s eBook on HIV/AIDS, ‘Stranger in the Mirror of My Life: Poems for Everyone Affected By HIV/AIDS’

Stranger%20in%20the%20Mirror%20of%20My%20Life%20book%20cover

‘Stranger in the Mirror of My Life: Poems for Everyone Affected By HIV/AIDS’, is a new collection of poems written by Senator Ihenyen. Believe it or not, the author started this project since 2005. A product of both intensive and extensive research on HIV/AIDS from various dimensions, the ebook has been described by a reviewer as a “companion and compendium of HIV/AIDS poetry” for anyone affected by the epidemic. And that includes us all, whether positive or negative.

Why write a book containing poems on HIV/AIDS? We visited Senator Ihenyen’s blog at http://senatorihenyen.wordpress.com, and below is what we were able to scoop from the author and current Project Manager of Golden Minds Nigeria. Yes, in his own words:

“In commemoration of the World Aids Day, December 1, I wish to officially launch Ripples Across Lives: Poetry Against HIV/AIDS, an awareness and sensitisation project on HIV/AIDS.” That was when the project was launched exactly 8 years ago! He continued, “Since December 1, 2005, the day I wrote ‘Ripples Across Ripples’, my very first poem on HIV/AIDS, I have been involved in an extensive research into the epidermic over the years. A year later, I’d written over 50 poems specially centred on the scourge, taking a penetrating look at the dangers, prevention and lastly, the discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). I had published about 10 of these poems on the Internet, and got quite
interesting feedback from various parts of the world.”

Senator Ihenyen, who is also the author of Colourless Rainbow, didn’t stop there. “This propelled me to do more work on what would have ordinarilly been just another volume of poetry from me, after my collection, ‘Colourless Rainbow’, was to debut in 2010. After what seemed like a completed work, I approached a Lagos-based publisher who asked me to put my money where my heart was, but I had more of the heart than the money! The rest is history!”

So what is the overriding message intended by Senator Ihenyen in this HIV/AIDS project? Senator says, “With the overpowering conviction that I have a message to communicate to the targeted readers (especially youths and PLWHA), I have since got myself involved in initiatives that bring me closer to the epidermic. I had to go behind the figures to see the faces, behind the pictures to feel the pain, behind the silence to hear the cries of the millions of orphans, children, teens, youths and adults who are infected with HIV/AIDS and the rest of us who have been affected in many ways than we could have ever imagined! I have subscribed to the e-forum of
Journalists Against Aids (JAIDS), the UNICEF Voices of Youth initiative, access resources and information from UNAIDS, Body Positive, World Aids Day site and many others. This is because HIV/AIDS is a dynamic issue with complex colourations, and I needed to constantly stay updated.”

Tell us more about the book, Sen, yes, more about the book! The Book So what is the project all about? With this HIV/AIDS initiative, I intend to…raise awareness and sensitise people about HIV/AIDS in a more engaging and sustainable way. Over the years, I have found out that the best way to fight HIV/AIDS is to keep talking about it. And poetry does have a highly appealing way of making our experiences and challenges, our love and hate, hope and despair, even more moving, more provoking and more lasting.” The ebook is available: here

How inspiring to find Nigerian youths like Olivet Aberare, and Senator Ihenyen, making the difference with their own time, money and efforts. Golden Minds Nigeria celebrates you two, and everyone out there making the difference to achieve a HIV-AIDS free generation, and also free from discrimination!

Please share this great post everywhere!

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  1. Ken Ejiofor
    01/12/2013 at 20:18

    Together, we can make our world a happier place. Thanks Olivet and Senator

  2. 02/12/2013 at 16:15

    I’m proud to have been a part of this positive development. Grateful to God for the opportunity to keep making a difference my own little way…Thanks Ken.

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  1. 22/10/2014 at 21:05

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