International AIDS conference 2010- Sunday 18 July
Things are hotting up at the AIDS2010 conference as the official opening ceremony got under way today. Guest speakers included UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and UNJAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lennox and they continued the theme of the conference in their speeches - Rights Here, Right Now.
The WAGGGS delegation is now a full contingent with Riche from Nigeria arriving last night. We spent the day being trained for our various roles in the Global Village, which is a space where knowledge and skills can be shared and learning is promoted among communities and organizations. WAGGGS are volunteering in the Youth Pavilion, in the Young Women’s Networking Zone and on the Austrian Guides and Scouts Organization stall – which is specifically to show delegates the WAGGGS HIV and AIDS Toolkit and has some activities set up for people to play – we cant wait to show people the excellent activities we do around the world.
Two highlights of the day included getting up to speed with our role on the Commitments Desk! This is an area where we will be encouraging everyone to pledge time bound commitments for the fights against AIDS and how they will contribute personally or what they think needs to be done to support the global efforts.
Another highlight was that of the Young Women’s Hour which happens in the Young Women’s Networking Zone. This is an excellent forum where guest speakers come and chat informally to the audience about an issue surrounding HIV/AIDS. We opened with a fabulous session by an impressive 18 year old young woman from Australia who has been living with HIV from birth. She gave an open, honest account of her experiences and was an absolute inspiration. It was interesting to learn about cross cultural experiences from around the world and set a great example of how popular these sessions will become over the week.
After an exhilarating but tiring day we are looking to forward to the events and surprises the week will bring!
Have a look at more photos on Flickr!