Global launch for HIV and AIDS resource

6 August 2008

The WAGGGS training toolkit on HIV and AIDS was launched at AIDS 2008, the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City at an event that featured the wife of the President of Mexico, Margarita Zavala.

Over 22,000 registered participants attended the conference in Mexico City from 3 to 8 August where scientists, community and political leaders urged resolute action and commitment from the international community on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

WAGGGS had a particularly strong presence at this important event. Seven members of the WAGGGS delegation were under 25 years old. The young delegates, whose attendance was made possible by funding from OB-PS, came from the countries featured in the WAGGGS AIDS training toolkit: Megha Tiwari from India, Luanda Fonseca from Brazil, Lexa Kaipa from Malawi, Micaela Valcarcel from Peru and Pamela Odhiambo from Kenya. Also present were Monica Bravo and Mari Cruz Bravo from Mexico.

The delegation was led by Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Region María Elena Murillo, WAGGGS Chief Executive Mary Mc Phail and was supported by Communications officer Bernadette Fischler and Deputy World Centre manager at Our Cabaña Vicky Gagliano.

Coalition of First Ladies and Women Leaders of Latin America on Women and AIDS

Mary Mc Phail also was invited by Mrs Zavala to present the training toolkit to the 5th reunion of the Coalition of First Ladies and Women Leaders of Latin America on Women and AIDS on 2 August, which preceded the International AIDS conference in Mexico City.

In her presentation Mary explained: “The training toolkit empowers young women to protect themselves against HIV infection, to advocate in their communities and to fight stigma and discrimination.

“The toolkit focuses on the needs of women and young girls as they are often more vulnerable and in many countries they have limited control over their sexual health and less access to education and HIV information. Armed with accurate and useful information about the disease and its prevention girls and women can help reduce the spread of the virus.

The meeting brought together more than 150 women leaders and activists from across Latin America. Mrs. Zavala acknowledged the work carried out by WAGGGS Member Organizations around the world to fight HIV and AIDS. She was so impressed by the testimonials from the young women about their involvement in the fight against AIDS that she invited them to visit her in the presidential palace the next day.

The Global Village

WAGGGS also made its mark at the AIDS 2008 Global Village, a public space which aimed to share knowledge and skills, build coalitions, and promote interactive learning among communities living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Sporting their red T-shirts with the recently launched WAGGGS centenary message: girls worldwide say “100 years of changing lives”, the young delegates displayed features of the AIDS prevention projects in their home countries. They entertained visitors with activities about AIDS prevention, including producing an AIDS pledge bracelet, conducting an HIV and AIDS quiz in 17 languages (available on the WAGGGS website) and a puzzle about the WAGGGS brochure “fighting stigma and fear”. 

Monica Bravo from Mexico says about the conference: “It is such an excellent opportunity to tell people about our work in Girl Guiding and explain to them about the tools we are promoting. I really like the new toolkit, it is easy to use, so every girl can go and become a peer educator and bring about change in her community.”


For more information on the AIDS Conference, please visit the official website www.aids2008.org

Your comments

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Vera Luiza - 8 August 2008 - 11.57PM (GMT)

It is very stimulating to see these young woman engaged with the fight against AIDS. I am sure they are being prepared to have this same commitment with all good causes in life.

Vera Luiza - 9 August 2008 - 10.19PM (GMT)

I think it is very important to have WAGGS engaged to fight against Aids epidemic. Congratulations to these young women representing WAGGS in the Aids Conference.

Charlotte - 11 August 2008 - 5.23PM (GMT)

Congratulations to you all who have participated at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico! Obviously you have shown, what an excellent work WAGGGS and Member Organisations are doing in this context and I am very pleased to read, that the toolkit, which focuses on the needs of women and young women, was so well received."Fighting stigma and fear/discrimination" is so important to articulate and I am proud, that WAGGGS was heard and seen at this important conference! We from the Olave Baden-Powell Society will talk about your enormous engagement - I am sure this will influence also our work!

With thanks and best wishes

Charlotte
President OB-PS

Sheila McCreary - 13 August 2008 - 12.00PM (GMT)

It is great to see the WAGGGS HIV AIDS training toolkit was so well received at the AIDS world conference. I look forward to this toolkit being available and being used by WAGGGS members around the world.

MEGHA TIWARI - 22 August 2008 - 12.05PM (GMT)

I believe it has been a wonderful experience for me to be a part of WAGGGS delegation.
i have really learnt alot.
and i would like to thank WAGGGS and
OB-PS for providing such a nice platform.
MEGHA TIWARI
Young representative at the conference, INDIA

Zsófi - 31 August 2008 - 6.28PM (GMT)

I am so happy it was launched at the AIDS conference
Also it was launched in our general stratgeic meeting of the year, and all our leaders are keen to use it as soon as possible:)
You have done a great job there and I am sure all of them liked our tool-kit

Troop 607 - 27 October 2008 - 11.42PM (GMT)

This was very nice to see different people participate in this activity.We wish to learn more about AIDS in the near future.Congratulations to the young women who did this important activity.

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