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Our Stories , Our Voice. : Observation of World Aids Orphans' day, 2016

A child from Rajasthan asked “What are you doing now days? And how does your place look like?” In reply, children from Vishakhapatnam were thrilled to recall stories of sea side picnics and how much they enjoy the local delicacy, Sambhar Chawal. An interaction between 60 children far removed from one another was made possible by the use of technology, reaffirming the increasingly important role of ICTs in education and development.

 

Children from Tamil Nadu involved in fun activities to observe the day

 

 FXB India Suraksha works in different pockets across 15 Indian states and union territories touching the lives of over 300,000 people through its community-based integrated interventions. A significant proportion of this number is adolescents and youth, living in different parts of the country but share similar lives marred by prejudice, discrimination and intolerance. FXBIS has been working for almost 10 ten years in areas particularly affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic. Apart from provisioning medical treatment for the affected - infected people, FXBIS works to provide psychological, social and educational support to the youth affected/ infected by the disease. With a thought to address the complex needs of children and families affected by HIV and AIDS, President and Founder of FXB (François-Xavier Bagnoud), Countess Albina du Boisrouvray, initiated World AIDS Orphans Day in 2002. Since then, every year on May 7, FXB organizes a grassroots campaign to bring attention to the plight of children affected by AIDS and advocate on their behalf.

 

Children excited to watch the IPL in Vishakhapatnam  Andhra pradesh

This year however, we asked the children to share stories, learn from each other, Be the  Change Makers themselves. Children and adolescents from Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan took part in a Skype conference with FXBIS CEO Ms. Mamta Borgoyary. Children from Manipur FXBVillage were unable to participate due to political disturbances in the state but they shared their messages through a pre recorded video which was shared with the FXBIS state offices. During the call children shared their stories and learnt about how to better address the epidemic through self-awareness. It was an opportunity to meet children from other parts of India and make new friends. The conversations began with the customary shy introductions but as time passed the children shared stories and descriptions of their schools, hobbies. their villages and home and plans for picnic during the upcoming weekend. The children were also made aware about the reasons for observing World Aids Orphans' Day. The program concluded with an agreement to start a nationwide 'Suraksha youth club' in all these states and continue the interaction with other members of the club and at the end the children from all the states sang songs for each other.

Other Activities:

In Noida a short movie named Generous Chaitanaya was screened for the attendant adolescent girls. Through the movie depicting the everyday trials of a man who is suffering from HIV/AIDS and how he fights the disease with the help of FXB India Suraksha, the children were made aware of the hardships caused by the disease and how they should guard against the same.

In Mizoram FXBIS collaborated with Gan Sabra Society, PWNM & Blue Heaven Academy in organizing a cultural event. The function was graced by the presence of eminent local personalities including the  Minister of Health & Family  Shri. Lal Thanzara and Ms. Rebecca Saimawii, Ambassador for CLHIV. The programme included speeches from the distinguished guests on the state of care and support available for Aids affected infected people and the need for further reforms and music and dance performances by children and youth from local partner NGOs, Little Angels, Gan Sabra and Blue Heaven Academy.

In Tamil Nadu FXBIS organized recreational activities for the 75 children and adults in Sharanalayam, a partner organization. The activities included dance, skits, musical chair, and other sport activities and all participants were given gifts and lunch. The days programme closed with a joyful song and dance by all members. The participants expressed their regards and enjoyed themselves by taking part in activities that acts as a respite from the monotony of routine chores.    

In Andhra Pradesh 26 children and 2 volunteers cheered their favorite teams at an Indian Premier League cricket match between the teams Mumbai Indians and Sun raisers-Hyderabad. The trip was sponsored by the Reliance Foundation, which included team t-shirts, hat, lunch, snacks and dinner and travel.

Through these initiatives, FXBIS aims to take the idea of integrated development a step further by showcasing the similarity of experiences despite the diversity in circumstances. This pilot event brought together children onto a single platform, where in they can share their ideas, learn from their peers and bring about real social transformations in perceptions, tolerance and acceptance of the other within their societies.

 

Related links:

Glimpses of the day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88471363@N07/albums/72157667823328622/with/26303374593/

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