We are supporting a group of HIV+ adolescents residing in rural S. Africa who are determined to inspire change and eradicate stigmatization. 'Positive Teens on the Run!' is a running group of committed youngsters from severely disadvantaged families who openly declare their HIV+ status as runners and demonstrate healthy lifestyles. Hope for Limpopo will provide race entry fees, transportation, food, clothes and running shoes to help them achieve their goals for social acceptance.
Limpopo Province is one of the poorest regions of rural SA. HIV/AIDS is rife, state and social services are overstretched. Children learn early on not to reveal their HIV+ status fearing social stigmatization. Affected teens are left feeling ostracized and hopeless. Opting to conceal their disease, they often default on meds, resulting in illness or death. We will support these teens giving them a chance to encourage their peers to disclose their HIV+ status and live healthy lifestyles.
We will provide each runner with entry fees, running attire, transportation, food and lodging for each event. We will provide a stipend for a manager/coach to assist with all arrangements associated with each race. By supporting this running club, we are supporting every disadvantaged teen's right to empower themselves. We are supporting their innovative approach to engage, mobilize and empower other HIV+ adolescents as leaders and social change makers.
This running club has been restricted to 24 runners due to lack of funds. They share running attire and take turns entering races. The project would allow 75+ support group members to participate in all races. The potential for providing SA youth with hope and a healthy future is limitless. PTOR runner Philly says "We want to change society's perceptions of HIV+ by disclosing our status with confidence, pride and healthy lifestyles."