The Annual International AIDS candlelight Memorial (www.candlelightmemorial.org) is a Program of Global Health Council, and is one of the largest and oldest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness in the world. The Candlelight Memorial occurs on the third Sunday of May, lead by volunteer coordinators who host memorials for their communities worldwide. Last year in 2012 it was 29th year internationally, and organized by Rwanda Village Concept Project for the fifth time in Huye, the Candlelight Memorial 2012 had the official theme “Promotion Heath and Dignity Together …” with the general objective of fight against HIV-AIDS, remembrance of all those who have been affected by HIV epidemic and was commemorated worldwide on the Sunday, May 20th 2012.
In this year of 2013, it was the seventh time that Rwanda village concept project conducted candlelight memorial day 2013 .RVCP carried out this event on 1st June, 2013 Instead of the third Sunday 22and May 2013. The theme for the Candlelight Memorial day 2013 is "In Solidality" emphasizing the need for people living with and affected by HIV to join hands and work together in the response to HIV. Solidarity in communities is essential to reduce stigma and promote the involvement of people living with HIV in order to ensure a more effective HIV response. Only together as communities can we advocate for universal access to quality health and social services.
OBJECTIVES OF CANDLELIGHT MARCH MEMORIAL 2013 :
After six successive successful candle light march memorial in Huye, Rwanda Village Concept Project (www.rwanda-vcp.org) has been selected for the seventh time by Global Health Council (www.globalhealth.org) among other organizations to host this year the candle March memorial in Huye District, Southern province in Rwanda. In Huye District, the march took about 45 minutes in the town of Huye starting from multipurpose rooms of HUYE district , crossing what was the main business center in Huye (Cyarabu Center) and ending at multipurpose room of Huye District where another AIDS campaign was took place composed of messages, drama, poems, dances, etc. performed by Anti HIV/AIDS Youth Clubs, Groups from rural areas, Secondary schools in Huye District and speeches of invited leaders and RVCP coordinator all focusing on the theme.
The aim is to educate on HIV/AIDS, to call all people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness on needs of people affected by HIV/AIDS. During that community mobilization and education RVCP provided condom demonstration skills and condom boxes for condom distribution .
Briefly, it was a good innovation for RVCP to start a pilot cerebration of International Candle Light March memorial helped and organized by Medical students of NUR Campus, Kigali, members of RVCP and other members that might be in Kigali Capital of Rwanda.
The total number of participants was 424 participants
On May 18,2013 the project volunteers in collaboration with UBUZIMA Program ,were able to visit the People Living With HIV/AIDS.The volunteers asked people present where they were cultivating as Cooperative of People Living With HIV/AIDS , to combat the discrimination against HIV positive persons.The volunteers said that their ambition is to develop our nation. But this cannot be achieved if we have many people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Based on statistics of 1994 when HIV AIDS prevalence rate was at 24 percent, of the population and now at 3.1 percent; Rwanda shows remarkable progress which is worthy to be noted.By working with the local leaders of Southern Province of Rwanda,this project will raise funds from Worldwide and help these people for improving their income generating activities.
The 1 December brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.The 2012 theme is -- and will be until 2015"Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths". The World AIDS Campaign focus on "Zero AIDS related deaths" signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all; a call for governments to act now.
RVCP through its HIV/AIDS awareness, reproductive and family planning in collaboration with UNIVERSITY LEAGUE FOR AIDS CONTROL (LUCS),carried out the world AIDS day campaign 2012 in Huye district of Rwanda from 26th to 27th January 2013.The event was postponed to this date because of funds issues.The event was targeting young people with disabilities especially in Huye district.During the Campaign,there were HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing(VCT) and Condom demonstration.
Goal: The overall aims and objectives of RVCP is to provide sustainable improvement
In the health and living conditions of underprivileged communities through health Promotion with an emphasis on self-reliance, active and responsible participation. RVCP seeks to work with the most disadvantaged villages in the Rwanda. The Project is specifically aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of the Anti-HIV/AIDS clubs in problem solving, project management, and promoting greater awareness of responsible sexual behavior. The ultimate goal is to reduce the prevalence of sexually related health problems, with the intention of spreading awareness to the greater community through the training of young people. The project is set in Southern Province of Rwanda.
An emphasis is put on community involvement and integration, particularly of those Youths affected by HIV/AIDS, to ease stigma and enabling the clubs to provide basic help to their HIV/AIDS positive members.
The topics covered in sessions include: Anatomy and the physiology of the genitals, love and sexual relationships, HIV/AIDS (symptoms, methods of transmission, prevention, promoting voluntary HIV-testing) educating about reproductive health, responsible sexual behavior, HIV/AIDS& gender and sexual violence, treatment for and care of people living with HIV/AIDS as well as sexual transmitted infections (STIs) and family planning.
The RVCP through a project “Youth Health Education Project (YHEP)” is carrying out the football tournaments in southern province of Rwanda. This plan was designed for village young people to strengthen their abilities to improve their health conditions. Youth club football teams are promoted as a tool for empowerment and education. The youth club football teams at tournaments are taught about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness. The RVCP through a project “Youth Health Education Project (YHEP)” is carrying out the football tournaments in southern province of Rwanda. This plan was designed for village young people to strengthen their abilities to improve their health conditions. Youth club football teams are promoted as a tool for empowerment and education.
The youth club football teams at tournaments are taught about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness.
The participation of the community is an essential aspect in implementing the projects and, more generally, in providing basic health care. The key actors are people from the community. Through this they are empowered, gaining greater self-reliance and more active responsibilities additionally improving their own health. They are therefore involved in all stages of the Projects; from initial planning through to the evaluation.
“Governmental and nongovernmental organizations at all levels could do much more to help people especially in village youth, change their behavior to avoid HIV and AIDS”
- To effectively use University volunteers in empowering rural village young people
- To create and strengthen youth club football teams through community visits, mobilization and education.
- To eradicate misconception about HIV/AIDS and cultural norms which lower the status of HIV infected individuals
- To provide the means of HIV/AIDS protection through distributing condoms and visual and reading materials at football tournaments
- To collaborate with urban VCT centers for volunteers to organize mobile VCT services in Huye district
This Tournament 2012 was funded by AECS-Catalonia
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