Children's Day, 16 Days, World AIDS Day
REPSSI http://www.facebook.com/repssipage & http://www.repssi.org has put together a media kit - including ready to print articles, press releases, images, and facts sheets - to help journalists, editors and producers develop stories around several end of the year events. REPSSI's welcomes interview requests, and has staff across the region who are happy to answer any questions.
. Universal Children's Day - 20 November
. 16 Days of Activism - 25 November to 10 December
. World AIDS Day - 1 December
REPSSI works in 13 East and Southern African countries to lessen the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS, conflict and poverty on children by providing psychosocial support. Working with caregivers, community-based organisations, development practitioners, and teachers, the NGO helps develop skills necessary to provide care, love, and protection for all children. This set of resources will help you cover the above- mentioned internationally recognised days from the unique and compelling perspective of children's emotional and social health.
To download print articles, press releases, images, facts sheets, and for a list of contacts for Children's Day, 16 Days of Activism, and World AIDS Day, please visit the REPSSI media centre.
Caring for Children's Emotional Health
As the world celebrates Universal Children's Day on 20 November, Africa's children have a lot to look forward to. Yet, many children and youth continue to have a lot on their plates. High HIV prevalence rates, legacies of conflict and crime, and extreme poverty plague much of the continent. As a result, a growing number of children suffer emotional trauma, depression, neglect, abuse, overwhelming grief, upheaval, discrimination and social exclusion affecting their social, emotional and mental health. "All children have material needs such as food, shelter, health care and education. But children also have the right to be cared for, loved, and protected," explains Noreen Huni, Executive Director at REPSSI. "Care and support is not just about finding means, but about changing attitudes about children's rights and roles in society."
Developing girls' belief in themselves
The year is about to come to an abrupt end, and with it, a flurry of social justice and human rights activity. Kicking off with Universal Children's Day on 20 November, then moving into 16 Days of Activism, running from 25 November to 10 December, and in between, December 1, World AIDS Day. During 16 Days of Activism, there's a chance to celebrate girls, their immense potential, and initiatives that bring attention to the challenges faced by girl children. For Precious Kakusa*, this kind of support was life changing.
Raped at the age of 13, she contracted the HIV virus. Living in an orphanage after her parents died, the now 15-year old faced discrimination and stigma.
After writing her own Hero Book to talk about her experience with stigma, as part of a CARE International Zambia project, the courageous teen took it upon herself to disclose her status to the other girls. She told them that that the shame belongs not with her, but with the man who raped her and infected her.
* real name has been disguised to protect the child
Ending stigma key to "Getting to zero"
From 2011 to 2015, the global community will celebrate 1 December, World AIDS Day, under the theme "Getting to Zero," echoing the UNAIDS vision of achieving "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths." According to REPSSI, along with all of the physical resources, Getting to Zero requires new approaches and changes to social environments,
especially when it comes to countering stigma and discrimination. "There is a need to scale up work with communities and families to transform attitudes. This starts with helping them deal with the emotional and social challenges they are facing," says Noreen Huni, Executive Director of REPSSI.
"Supporting people living with HIV, reducing stigma and discrimination, and caring for affected families is key to achieving Getting to Zero."
Full stories available from the REPSSI media centre.
For more information contact the REPSSI, who will be able to put you in touch with other contacts as needed.
Also "Like" REPSSI on Facebook to stay up to date with emerging news and info and follow REPSSI on twitter @REPSSI,
Tel: + 27 11 998 5820
Cell: +27 76 016 3366
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