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Mozambique's World AIDS Day Celebration
Rebecca, a former BFW employee, now lives and works in the Niassa Province of Mozambique. She's the HIV/AIDS coordinator in this province for the Anglican Church. She's been living there for three years now. She mentioned to me in an email a few weeks ago about t-shirts the church were making for World AIDS Day. The front says, "Know your status?" and the back says, "In Christ there is no difference between positive or negative."
I think that's pretty cool - especially given the stigma people living with HIV/AIDS often face. I asked Rebecca to write up a quick description about what she'll be doing and what celebrating in a place like Mozambique takes and this is what she sent me right before she left:
I'm off in an hour to Cobue, the last town on the shore of Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) where a car can reach. (I should correct myself: where a car can reach in the dry season. It started raining in earnest on Sunday, so it won't be drivable much longer!) We're actually taking a lorry full of 3 tons of corn, since there's quite a food shortage these days. But the purpose isn't primarily to take corn. The purpose is to celebrate World AIDS Day with about 200 activists from up the lakeshore. They'll be walking all the way from the Tanzanian border to take part in the festivities-2 solid days of walking. We'll also have some visiting activists come by boat from Malawi. I'm excited. This group seems to be very animated about fighting HIV-though the closest HIV testing center is 200 miles beyond the site of our festivities. If Mozambican statistics are applicable, 30 of the 200 activists will themselves be living with HIV.
If you're having trouble visualizing the route, here's a map:
She drove from Lichinga to Cobue (pronounced Co-bwey), which is the northwest city listed. This part of Mozambique is bordered by Tanzania to the North and Malawi to the west (west of the lake). The corn she is referring to is because this area of Mozambique is also affected by the famine that you may have read about happening in Malawi.
Today as we celebrate World AIDS Day on our own campuses and in our communities let's also remember the "World" part of it and remember people in places like Cobue, Mozambique that are also celebrating in their own unique ways.
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