Each year, in observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastors and Bridge of Hope centers take the opportunity to help inform their communities of the deadly virus and offer ways to prevent its spread. Students, parents, Bridge of Hope staff, pastors and teachers work together to organize educational programs and awareness rallies for their local villages.
Educational Meeting Warns Young Adults
In order to educate young people about the HIV virus and the effects it can have on a person’s health, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported youth fellowship workers organized an AIDS awareness program in a local, government-run school.
During three sessions, 80 students, joined by school staff, listened as a medical doctor spoke about the causes of AIDS and its potential to lead to death. An educational video provided the program attendees with practical information on how to prevent contracting the HIV virus, and a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor shared about the importance of life. Both students and school staff were grateful for the program the youth group provided.
Bridge of Hope Students Help Inform Their Communities
Another way Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers educate people about HIV/AIDS is through World AIDS Day Awareness Rallies organized by Bridge of Hope centers.
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Bridge of Hope centers provide children with after-school tutoring for their academic classes along with lessons in nutrition, hygiene and overall health care, including AIDS prevention. What the kids learn, they often share with their families and communities.
For World AIDS Day, some Bridge of Hope children take to the streets to offer important information about HIV/AIDS and its prevention. One year, 16 Bridge of Hope centers held rallies where the youth paraded through their villages. They brought awareness of the dangers of the disease by chanting slogans like “Know AIDS, No AIDS!” and “Eradicate AIDS!” Another year, one Bridge of Hope center coordinated a rally with 100 kids and some of their parents. They marched through the streets to draw the attention of onlookers, and they performed a skit that detailed the dangers of the HIV virus.
One of the students in the rally remarked, “I really like being a participant of the World AIDS Day Awareness Rally because, as I am a child of God and my life belongs to Him, I have to keep myself safe.”
It is her response and others like it that encourage workers and pastors to take opportunities like World AIDS Day to continue sharing information about HIV/AIDS.
Since its discovery in 1984, HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of more than 35 million people, according to worldaidsday.org. Beginning in 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed on December 1 each year. The day was instituted to fight the spread of the disease, to support those living with HIV and to remember those who’ve lost their lives due to the virus. Though the disease has grave consequences, educational events, increased awareness and preventive practices help equip individuals and their communities to fight against its spread.
Hanin personally understands the painful effects of living with AIDS. Read the miraculous story of her mourning turned to joy here.