Farha Foundation

Farha Foundation

November 28, 2006 09:24 ET

18th World AIDS Day: "Act Against Indifference"- A Community of Caring

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 28, 2006) - The degree to which citizens participate in voluntary action is one of the best indicators of the health of a democratic society. Volunteers are not content to be just spectators: they want to contribute, each in his or her own way, to building a better society. In Quebec, over one million people are already involved in voluntary action . In the over 40 AIDS service organizations that operate throughout Quebec, thousands of volunteers share many thousands of hours of their time each year and bring to bear their skills to contribute to the quality of life of people who are living with HIV/AIDS and to conduct HIV prevention activities with populations at risk.

The 11 partner organizations(2) of the December 1st 2006 Collective recognize and appreciate the valuable contributions of the volunteers who "act against indifference" to ensure that AIDS service organizations are able to continue to deliver their numerous programs and services, amplifying the impact that these organizations are able to have in their communities. From direct involvement in prevention activities to the assurance of a variety of programs offering assistance and support to people living with HIV/AIDS to the administrative and fundraising actions that make it possible to maintain all of the actions of AIDS service organizations, volunteers demonstrate daily the indispensability of a caring community response to an epidemic that thrives on indifference and isolation.

An estimated 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Quebec and thousands more who might otherwise have added to these numbers are not only the grateful beneficiaries of this selflessness, but often also the actors accomplishing this work. In every AIDS service organization in every corner of Quebec, people living with HIV/AIDS and members of the populations most affected by the epidemic are central to the community response. They are joined by family members, friends and neighbours to form a community that shows its capacity to respond in a caring manner every day of the year.

These volunteers "act against indifference" by contributing their skills, energy, creativity and experience to do everything from preparing materials to shaping programs and accompanying people living with or at risk of contracting HIV. Organizations, in turn, welcome these individuals with training and orientation that helps them to integrate as contributing members of their communities' response to HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day takes place every year on December 1st, a day to reflect upon the challenges that the HIV/AIDS epidemic poses for today's world and to consider the impact of HIV/AIDS in our own communities. Join the volunteers and various other members of our caring community in the Parc de l'Espoir (at the corner of Ste. Catherine East and Panet) this Friday, December 1st at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, participants are invited to meet at Club Cocktail for refreshments and other activities.

(1) Source : Centre d'action benevole de Montreal

(2) ACCM, Action Sero Zero, CASM, CPAVIH, CRISS, CSSS Jeanne-Mance, DSP de Montreal-Centre, GAPVIES, Maison Aaron, Maison Plein Coeur et Stella.

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