World AIDS Day Guide - Acting on AIDS

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					World AIDS Day Guide
World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1. The concept originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. It is a day of remembrance of those who have already died of AIDS as well as for those both infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. At World Vision and Acting on AIDS, we focus our remembrance and action on the millions of children in the poorest parts of the world who are made vulnerable because of HIV and AIDS. This year, World AIDS Day is the Monday after Thanksgiving. This may not be the most convenient day for student leaders to organize a display or event on campus, but we encourage all members and friends of the Acting on AIDS network to make the choice to stand together this World AIDS Day and organize their campus to respond during the week of World AIDS Day. This guide will present to you ideas of ways you can take action this World AIDS Day. We encourage you to be creative. Take these ideas and personalize them for your campus. Also, tell stories, take photos, video, write stories, and pass them along to the AoA National Team to be posted on our Web site.

Last World AIDS Day, we stood together to advocate for the passage of the Global Bill for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Thankfully, it passed this summer with a funding increase from $30 billion to $48 billion over five years! This was a tremendous victory, but as citizens it is our responsibility to hold government accountable to its commitments. World Vision is asking the U.S. Congress to continue its commitment to the global fight against AIDS by fully funding the President’s AIDS and malaria programs with $48 billion over the next five years, and by providing at least $7 billion for AIDS in fiscal year 2009. In addition, we also seek to ensure that children are not left behind by requesting that 10 percent of the budget for orphans and other vulnerable children. Now more than ever we need to use our voices to advocate for those affected by AIDS, malaria, and poverty. Whatever your final plans to commemorate World AIDS Day on campus, organize a petition drive to engage your campus in active advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable in the world. Download the petition here (PDF). Or your can send an online message to Congress. Recruit your friends and take action today.

We encourage you to use creative activism to engage your campus in the global AIDS pandemic. Below are a few ideas, some tried and true, others new to Acting on AIDS. We invite you to join in fully and utilize your creativity to innovate new ideas for your campus. Lives Are at Stake • What it’s about: AIDS has a significant impact on children worldwide—especially in the Global South. It has left 15 million children without parents, 12 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Every day, approximately 1,800 children are infected with HIV, and 6,000 children lose at least one parent to AIDS. Not only that, millions of other children are left vulnerable because they live in communities with a high HIV prevalence. Lives Are at Stake is Acting on AIDS’ signature event for World AIDS Day. This display serves as a memorial of the impact of AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children. Participants are invited to take a child's photo and commit to spend time praying or reflecting for that child throughout the day. • How to organize: Contact Acting on AIDS ( to order your free picture cards. These pictures will be shipped to you. Since setting up the display takes some work, we encourage you to choose a quantity appropriate for your campus. Most campuses will order 200-600 photos. Remember to order your pictures cards by November 14, 2008. Here are some tips to consider as you plan: • Order: To order photos, e-mail your campus name, quantity, and shipping address to • Organize: o Place the cards in a prominent area on campus, ideally outside where they have the most potential to be seen. o If possible, laminate the photos to protect them from the elements, especially if your display is outside. o You can purchase stakes at local hardware stores. Consider asking store managers to donate the stakes for a good cause. o If finances to purchase stakes aren’t available, or if you live in the artic tundra and the ground is too frozen to insert stakes, consider calling it “Lives on the Line,” using clothespins and clothesline to display the photos. o Set up an info table to invite students to learn more about HIV and AIDS, and to sign the AIDS advocacy petition. • Execute:

o Invite students to pick up a photo of a child, hang it around their neck, and spend the day in prayer and/or reflection about the child, his/her community, and those most affected by the global AIDS pandemic. o Provide index cards for participants. Invite them, as they pick up photos, to write their prayer or commitment to respond on the index card and place it on the line or stake. Want Less/Give More • What is it? Want Less/Give More is a new way to engage the national network in economic advocacy. It will kick off on World AIDS Day and last through the holiday season, though we hope that many enduring principles will remain long after the campaign is over. The holiday season is a busy time, and a time when we spend a lot of money and think a lot about what we want. This year we are challenging ourselves to reconsider the definition of a “want” versus a “need,” and we invite you to join with us. Spend less on yourself and others this holiday season, but give thoughtful, relational gifts, or purchase fair trade gifts. Take the money you don’t spend and, as a community, choose a group to give it to—either local or international. Consider giving toward the working poor through microfinance. Starting Nov. 25: visit and promote! • Planning ideas: This activity can be organized in a variety of ways. You can choose to engage your entire leadership team. You can invite your dorm or a group of friends to join with you. Consider inviting your church and your family to participate. We encourage all participants to join together in community during this season. Don’t insulate yourself or make it a purely individual experience. Share it with others. Think critically about your economic place in the world and how your giving and spending habits can have an impact on those living in poverty throughout the world. Check out our Want Less/Give More guide for more comprehensive planning information. Got Cents • What is it? Acting on AIDS has built a relationship with an organization called Change for a Penny and their “Got Cents?” campaign. They challenge individuals to rethink the potential of a penny. What could happen if everyone across the country started donating his or her pennies? What if we started to view each penny as valuable--as valuable as the lives that pennies represent in the “Got Cents?” Campaign. “Got Cents?” collects and displays millions of pennies to represent the number of AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Millions of lives seem like an overwhelming number and statistics

tend to drain the mind and discourage the heart. “Got Cents?” encourages a fresh look at the AIDS pandemic – a look at each individual’s story and a way in which we can make a tangible difference--one penny, one life, at a time. Visit their Web site to learn more about the organization. “Got Cents?” is a creative display you can utilize on campus to enhance your Lives Are at Stake display or to try something new. It is a creative way to raise both funds and awareness, and it illustrates that truth that every small action, when joined with other small actions, carry much value. • What to do: Your “Got Cents?” display can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. Consider setting it up near your Lives Are at Stake display. Consider encouraging dorms, Greek organizations, athletic teams, and campus ministries/organizations to collect at least 6,000 pennies each, each penny to represent one child who becomes an orphan each day. We suggest you visit and check out their most recent statistics. Select a statistic and seek to raise the equivalent or greater in pennies. Encourage passerby to donate their spare change for the cause. For more comprehensive information and ideas to plan “Got Cents?” check out their program guide.

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