World Vision's African Aids exhibit - One Life Experience presents stories of four African youth touched by AIDS at the Mondial des Cultures in Drummondville



    MONTREAL, July 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, World Vision's One Life
Experience, a 2,000 square-foot interactive African village, was launched at
the Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville and will be featured from July 4 to
13, 2008. Visitors to the exhibit will learn about the impact of HIV and AIDS
by walking in the footsteps of one of four African youth affected by the
disease. The exhibit moves visitors beyond the AIDS statistics to an
understanding of why the pandemic is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our
time.
    "The Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville is very pleased to host the
exhibition Expérience d'une vie, organized by Vision Mondiale. This brand-new
partnership of these two 'Mondials' enriches and complements the mission of
the Mondial des Cultures, offering even more cultural diversity," said
Marie-France Bourgeois, general manager of the Mondial des Cultures de
Drummondville. "I have toured the Expérience d'une vie exhibition myself, and
listening to, feeling and understanding the suffering of these four young
Africans living with AIDS was profoundly moving," she added.
    Worldwide, more than 33 million people were living with HIV in 2007,
including 2.5 million children.
    A recent Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by World Vision found that
Canadians are ahead of six other G8 nations (United States, U.K., France,
Germany, Italy and Japan) in the belief that they have a moral obligation to
try to stop the spread of HIV. The survey also revealed that Canadians want
their government to do more: 84 per cent of Canadians agree that the
government should do much more to help children who are orphaned by AIDS and
AIDS-related illnesses around the world.
    Compassion translated into action will help people like Olipa Chimangeni,
an AIDS activist from Malawi whose story is featured in World Vision's One
Life Experience AIDS exhibit at Mondial des Cultures de Drummondville from
July 4 to 13, 2008. Chimangeni speaks first-hand about the challenges of
'living positively' after being victim to abuse that left her and her new-born
daughter with HIV.
    "Whether I'm speaking to people in bars, schools and churches in Malawi
where I've personally felt the stigma of AIDS, or I'm putting the pressure on
politicians worldwide to keep their promises - my message is clear: everybody
has a responsibility to prevent the spread of AIDS," says Chimangeni.
    World Vision donors in Canada are doing their part to combat the
pandemic. They support programs worldwide that include community-led care for
orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS; HIV prevention for youth;
and awareness programs to overcome the stigma and discrimination.
    Amboka Wameyo, World Vision's advocacy and program integration manager,
points out that World Vision works in 25 African countries where the AIDS
pandemic is having an impact on children, communities and national economics.
    "World Vision is calling on African national governments to invest
adequate resources in building health systems that can deal with the pandemic.
However, the efforts of African governments will fail if they are not
complimented by dedicated support from the international community including
the G8," says Wameyo.
    At last year's G8 Summit, world leaders committed to scaling up their
efforts towards the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention programs,
treatment, care and support by 2010. With less than two years to go until the
G8-endorsed target date, these commitments still need firm funding and
implementation plans.

    As the Prime Minister heads to Japan for this year's G8 Summit, World
Vision urges Canada to make child health a priority on the agenda. In
particular, World Vision is calling on G8 leaders to:

    
    - Set annual funding pledges for meeting existing AIDS commitments.
    - Be champions for the prevention of child hunger and under-nutrition in
      responding to the current food crisis.
    - Establish annual funding commitments to fulfill promises made on
      Canada's aid program.
    

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity or gender.




For further information:

For further information: Brigitte Filiatrault, Porter Novelli for World
Vision Canada, (514) 846-5605, cell.: (514) 702-2744,
brigitte.filiatrault@porternovelli.com; World Vision staff is available for
media interviews.


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