By: Kagiso Mothwa, Setshaba Clinical Research Site, Pretoria, South Africa
Theme: “Know your Status”
Date: 29 November 2019
Venue: Setshaba Research Centre
For Setshaba Research Centre’s (SRC) World AIDS Day commemoration event, this year we took a twist on the norm. The event promoted SRC’s visibility to the public and surrounding areas within a 3km radius to the site. A Fun Walk from the surrounding areas to SRC was organized to attract not only the community, but also show communities that we are in this fight together, standing to say “Together We Can.”
Participants of the commemoration included site staff, our CAB, members of the general community, and stakeholders including SAPS volunteers, SANCA, Tshwane Multi-sectoral AIDS Unit, Facility Clinic representatives and other neighboring NGOs. What was even more interesting was that each organization was given a platform to exhibit services they provide to community members.
SRC Staff choir braced us with awesome spirit-lifting songs during the programme.
The purpose of the event was to increase global and local efforts in the prevention of HIV & AIDS by encouraging people to test so that they know their status, and to raise awareness and remind the world that barriers to HIV testing still do exist and that more effort must be given to pulling down these barriers. Lastly, we wanted to promote healthy living and lifestyles amongst our communities.
Dr. Khatija Ahmed (SRC CEO) gave opening remarks during the WAD event programme.
Ross Malamatsho (SRC CLO) presenting the purpose of the day to members present at the event.
The walk made so much impact based on the positive feedback received from community members, including an inclusive invite from South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) – Tshwane West District, who held a similar event and requested SRC to present a message of awareness and ways we can collaborate toward alleviating this pandemic. For a long time community members within our surrounding area have seen the majority of the staff onsite, but this time it was really a highlight to notice that the walkers included staff reaching out to them. This strengthened our contributions toward combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and to also show the affected community that SRC staff members also care.
Candle lighting in commemoration of all who are infected and affected by this epidemic.
We will keep our little lights burning, as part of combating to win the HIV/AIDS battle.
Our very own CAB member keeping us rejuvenated, pledging support.
Dr. Mookho Malaheha and SRC staff gave closing remarks on the journey toward combating the HIV epidemic.
All attendees received a token of our appreciation.
A beautiful day was sealed with a good dance from our invited guests and staff.
Kagiso Mothwa is the Community Liaison Officer for the Soshanguve CRS.