Canadian artist Luck Mervil to travel to Botswana for International Women's
Day

OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Shortly after fundraising for earthquake victims in Haiti, artist and CECI's spokesperson, Luck Mervil is now headed for southern Africa to bring the issues of gender equality and HIV and AIDS to the Canadian public.

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8th, Luck will be traveling to Botswana to visit community organizations that help people living with the disease.

"I am happy to discover Botswana and the Uniterra program's partners through the sight of Nadia Berger, a Canadian volunteer who knows the local groups we will visit and the issues they face", Luck Mervil says. According to the United Nations, Botswana has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world with women and children a particularly vulnerable target. Women account for just over half of HIV infections in the country.

From March 6th to the 13th, Luck will be visiting grassroots groups all over Botswana, as well as the Southern African Development Agency (SADC) where the Gender Unit will be holding special activities for International Woman's Day. The organizations he will be visiting are partnered with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) through the Uniterra program it manages with the Centre for Studies and International Cooperation (CECI).

Luck will be chronicling his journey through blogging and pictures as he witnesses first-hand the hardships of living with HIV and AIDS in Botswana on the Uniterra web site. It will truly be an eye-opening experience for Luck, and his testimonial will have a positive impact on Canadian volunteer cooperation. His mission will show Canadians that HIV and AIDS is a global issue that affects us all and that volunteer cooperation programs can have a positive impact.

About Uniterra: As one of Canada's leading international volunteer cooperation programs, Uniterra is a joint initiative of WUSC and CECI. Uniterra recruits 400 qualified individuals annually to work in partnership with local organizations in 13 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to help reduce world poverty. www.uniterra.ca

SOURCE Center for International Studies and Cooperation

For further information: For further information: For interviews with Luck Mervil and Nadia Berger while in Botswana, please contact: Marie-Pierre Tétreault, (514) 892-6956. Please note there is a +7 hour time difference.

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