Reach a Hand Uganda, in partnership with the Global Livingstone Institute and partners flagged off the iKnowKati World AIDs Day Campaign, on the 1st of December 2021 under the theme “Ending the HIV pandemic by tearing down the inequalities.”
The presser was held at the International University of East Africa. Partners present included; the University of East Africa,[IUEA], Galaxy F.M, Movit, SEE T.V, Kiss Condoms, DKT International, Global Down Syndrome, and Odyssey House LA.
In his opening remarks, our Country Director- Mr. James Tumusiime noted that “It is our mandate that we have fewer or no cases of HIV. We need to understand that HIV is still a killer of dreams. This is why Reach a Hand Uganda comes to cement and put a block on HIV/AIDs awareness every year.”
This year’s campaign will run for seven days throughout the first week of December. The activations, dubbed “One Week in December,” will begin today, December 1st, and will last until December 7th in six districts: Kampala, Kasese, Hoima, Kagadi, Kabale, and Adjumani.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball. This World AIDS day, let us continue to educate, innovate and de-stigmatize for an AIDS-free future.” – Ryan Grundy, Chief Operating Officer at Global Living Institute.
Innocent Nahabwe – CEO Galaxy F.M
“Galaxy FM is a radio station that caters for young people by providing entertainment that they appreciate. We aim to use this coverage to disseminate HIV/AIDS information in a way that appeals to young people so that the pandemic can be ended.”
While at the presser, a number of partners committed to helping in creating awareness, breaking down the stigma, and encouraging young people to test and fight HIV/AIDs. “We commit to supporting Reach a HandUganda in the different community activations by giving out free products from MOVIT Uganda.- Connie Nankya Communications & Corporate Affairs manager Movit Products. Movit products will be added to the mix to cover a wide range of topics. One is self-confidence because a confident mind speaks for itself. We will be able to promote knowledge about HIV/AIDs through many channels, allowing young people to make informed decisions for the present and future.
“We commit to give out free applications for survivors of HIV/AIDs and vulnerable people for this week [1st -7th December] at the International University of East Africa. [IUEA]”- Caroline Wambui Marketing manager at IUEA. She further emphasized that they have chosen to partner with RAHU because, of the similar core values. We have made it our mission to raise awareness, and eliminate stigma while being inclusive. We provide scholarships to all young people, regardless of their backgrounds, in order to eliminate disparities.”
As Reach a Hand Uganda, we believe that reaching out to people in communities can cause greater impact and as part of the #WAD21 & #iKnowKati campaign. Together with Naguru teenage center(service providers) DKT and galaxy radio, we went to Kiwempe and Kitintale at Skate Park , for the iknow Kati community outreaches. Free HIV/AIDs testing and counseling, STI, UTI screening and treatment, mental health sessions, were offered. Our peer Peer Educators went along to do the door-to-door mobilization, condom distribution, and health education.
The campaign that started on 1st December 2021, will be wrapped up with a musical concert where we shall have RAHU cultural icons perform songs with messages on SRHR. Music is a language that young people can easily relate with and the musicians selected are social icons who set the pace, and opinion leaders who pass on different messages. Through their songs, their example is followed by many, and making them part of the campaign helps us impact more lives.
Written by Kiwumulo Charity.