The World AIDS Conference is back in Durban South Africa after 16 years. At the World AIDS Conference 2000 themed “Breaking the Silence” a young frail looking boy who had fought a long battle with HIV named Nkosi Johnson spoke at the Conference echoing the words “Please help people with HIV love them, care for them support them”.
And this, believe it or not were the words that got Champions For Life starting in 2005. A lot has changed since 2001. Treatment is now available for all, governments all over the world are implementing ‘test and treat’, an HIV vaccine is on the Horizon and most importantly, the possibility of an HIV free future is now far much more realistic than it was a decade and half ago.
Champions For Life’s presence will be felt at this global event as we showcase how we have provided Love, care and support to over 15 000 adolescents living with HIV in the 11 countries we operate in through our Faith Based Psycho-Social support program.
This year, the World AIDS Conference is running under the theme “Accessing EQUITY rights now” and as Champions for Life, we are helping Adolescents living with HIV access equity rights now.
Come join us in Durban at the World AIDS Conference at our NGO Booth (number 517) and Booth 115 in the Pharmaceutical Exhibition hall. Also Pen in your Calender’s Tuesday 19 July 13:30 at the Global Village Main Stage for our performance “Weeping Shadows”.
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Durban the land of spices, right from the mild, hot and hot hot and you cannot come here and not eat a “Bunny Chow” or a spiced burger with chips, which was lunch that we were treated to on the 11th of July 2015 at the Champions Durban day seminar. With an attendance of more than 150 people both young and old we could only see God’s hand at work right from the start to the end of the day.
Themed “I Got This” was a seminar like no other, anchored on taking responsibility on every aspect of the Champions’ lives. These aspects came about when Champions team had noticed that people in general enjoy pity parties, or like to always feel sorry for them for anything that comes their way or love to play the blame game whenever something bad happens. With this in mind it was high time we turned the victims of such charades into victory. Tackling this monster was not going to be an easy one but having understood the difference and the growth it would bring in the Champions lives it was worth one’s salt.
In any seminar focus groups are the crux of the day as everyone from young and old is spilt into small groups where people discuss the topic but above all to create a close up atmosphere of love, care, communication and disclosure. The highlight of the day was the small groups of the parents and guardians that had brought their little ones taking responsibility of loving one another by giving each other hearty hugs. You could tell that this is no longer a transactional hug to fulfil some duty but it’s motivated by loving the next person despite race, colour or creed.
This seminar marked the 3rd year anniversary of the existence of Champions in Durban and it was amazing to note that there were a number of medical students,Counsellors, Matrons, Partners and parents that have been attending these seminars faithfully since the inception of Champions.
It couldn’t be a celebration without Cake and 2 large cakes were made just for that. Durban is known for breaking new ground as they took it further by awarding every Champion that has been coming to the seminars for the last 3 years with a beautiful certificate of appreciation for their faithfulness.
One of our vibrant Programs in Southern Africa and in Zimbabwe particularly Zimbabwe is Champions for Life Gweru Program. It has a dynamic team of leaders and committed Partners. Here is a crude video of some of the Partners talking about their experiences with Champions.
“building champions building their dreams”