December 1st was World AIDS Day, which we are observing this Sunday, December 5th. Begun in 1988 by members of the Global Program on AIDS, part of the World Health Organization, World AIDS Day is now observed annually around the world, drawing attention to the millions who continue to suffer the devastating effects of the HIV-AIDS pandemic.
From a package of worship resources we are using for this Sunday’s service we read this description of the day: “… it is a day set aside to raise up our concerns for all infected and affected by the global HIV-AIDS pandemic. It is a day to give thanks for those who care for those living with HIV and AIDS, for those involved in seeking funding for treatment and prevention, and for those researchers who seek improved medical interventions.”
One particularly effective organization raising awareness here in our midst is the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign launched by the Stephen Lewis Foundation in 2006. This campaign focuses on the plight of grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who care for the countless children orphaned by AIDS. We may have only limited understanding of the ravages of this disease, but we can all appreciate the burden of ageing family members left to care for the sick, the dying, and the orphaned.
You can find out more information about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign online: www.grandmotherscampaign.org and atwww.stephenlewisfoundation.org. Or speak to Dariel B. or Brigid S., both active in the campaign and “Grandmothers” in their own right.