Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Alliance partners are 2010 Red Ribbon Award Winners

19
JUL
2010

Red Ribbon awards

Congratulations to five Alliance supported community organisations that were among 25 community based organisations across the globe who won the 2010 Red Ribbon Award.

The Red Ribbon Award, named after the global symbol in the movement to address AIDS, is a joint effort of the UNAIDS family.  The award recognizes outstanding community organisations for their work in reducing the spread and impact of AIDS.

There were over 720 nominations from 102 countries this year. Twenty organisations were recognised and received $5,000 each and a further five organisations received special recognition and an award of $20,000 each.

Of the 20 organisations, a number of Alliance supported community organisations were successful. These included:

  • AMMAR which is a network of 15,000 sex workers that has successfully advocated for the adoption of municipal codes and ordinances in Argentina that protect and promote the rights of sex workers.  They are part of the RedTraSex (the Latin American network of sex workers), an Alliance partner organisation that is being supported to raise their profile in decision making spaces.  This work is funded by the UK-Aid, which is part of the Department for International Development (DFID).
  • Colectivo SerGay de Aguascalientes, A.C. which works to expose injustice and document human rights violations towards sexual minorities and marginalized groups in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and provides those populations with a community centre that is a safe space for medical, therapeutic and psychological support. 

    Colectivo SerGay is a member VIDA DIGNA Mexico, a project which aims to build the capacity of organisations to reduce stigma and discrimination related to HIV in the Central States of Mexico. SerGay was a sub-recipient of Alliance linking organisation, Colectivo Sol in the five year Positive Action ViiV Healthcare funded project. Colectivo Sol and SerGay are involved in sharing the experience of VIDA DIGNA Mexico with Alliance partners in El Salvador and Ser Gay is receiving technical support from Colectivo Sol, through AIDSTAR Two.  
  • Penitentiary Initiative (PI) which is a community-based organisation that advocates for HIV prevention in prison settings and provides access to treatment and diagnostics for prisoners living with HIV. The organisation also provides psychosocial support for prisoners who use drugs and men who have sex with men (MSM), while building tolerance towards these vulnerable groups among prison inmates and staff.
  • Svitanok Club which is the first organisation in the Donetsk region created and managed by people living with HIV and people who use drugs. It supports people living with HIV, including children, people who use drugs, prisoners and sex workers. Svitanok Club started as a day-care facility for children living with and affected by HIV and has since provided psychological, social, and medical support to almost 200 children, including orphans, their parents and guardians. Svitanok lobbies for children’s rights and supports their needs, including treatment adherence, offering summer schools as well as seminars and workshops for their families.

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.