Of the 5 organisations who received a special mention for their work, Widows, Orphans and People Living with HIV (WOPHA) in Sudan were acknowledged. The community group is supported by Southern Sudan Network of PLHIV, an Alliance partner.
Martin Mawa a counsellor at WOPHA collected the award. “I am very proud and excited receiving this award. It means that we can plan to extend our activities to other communities in the Yei area of South Sudan, where we work.”
Martin, like everyone else at WOPHA is a volunteer. They meet weekly to provide support and work out how to cater for each other’s needs. They have income generation projects such as goat rearing, tailoring and brick laying that provides a livelihood for the women, children and people living with HIV.
“We run five members clubs, one of which reaches out to around 200 people in the community. This award is exciting because it means we can develop our other clubs and ensure more people can get support.”
Evelyn Letio, from the Southern Sudan Network of PLHIV in Juba who provides support for community organisations in South Sudan said, “We are excited and proud today because WOPHA has won this global award. There are many different people who have played a part. We would like to thank International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ARC, UNDP, Presbeyterian and UNAIDS. It demonstrates that when we all work together we can make a difference.”
Each of the winning organizations receives international recognition for their innovation and leadership in responding to the AIDS epidemic. The organizations participated in the XVIII International AIDS Conference held in Vienna where they were guests of honour at a formal Award Ceremony and hosted a forum for dialogue and exchange between policy makers and community representatives.
The full list of winners is available at the Red Ribbon Award website located at http://www.redribbonaward.org.