Regional News of Tue, 30 Nov 20040

HIV/AIDS NGOs receive grant for education

Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI) Ghana has granted about 500 million cedis to several nongovernmental organisation (NGOs) to intensify their education on HIV/AIDS and related problems.

The grant was shared among six implementing partners including the AIDS Support Association of Tema, which would use its money to enhance training and income-generating activities for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), Nana Yaa Prempeh Agyeman Amekudzi, Country Director HACI Ghana, said in Accra on Monday.

Others beneficiaries were Redemption Care International of Dormaa District; Development in Focus of Ga Mashie; Precious Life Association of Adansi Asokwa; Pallymax Talents Ensamble of Tema and BEWDA-Ghana of Bawku East and Garu Tempane Districts.

Nana Amekudzi said at the signing ceremony that the grant would enable their partners to reach out to many more children made vulnerable by the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ghana and further help reduce the impact of the disease on those children.

She said the disease was taking a devastating toll with the prevalence being 3.6 per cent and between 170,000 to 300,000 children being orphaned.

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Nana Amekudzi said HACI would continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure success of a downward trend of new infections and also empower those living with the virus to educate others.

She appealed to other organisations to join hands with HACI to fight against stigmatisation, by intensifying social education on the need to embrace such people, encouraging them and providing them with financial support for better living.

Miss Judy Nuna Tay, a pupil of the Riis Model Primary School, which has a club against HIV/AIDS, appealed to the Government to focus attention on HIV/AIDS orphans and the youth, by introducing into the syllabus, education on the dreaded disease.

She said stigmatisation had made it difficult for PLWHA to come out boldly to tell their stories to serve as a guide for the youth. Miss Tay called for a focus on the grassroots where poverty had prevented many HIV/AIDS orphans from going to school.

She said if care was not taken the bitterness in the hearts of these neglected orphans could drive many of them into criminal activities, which could cost the country dearly.

Source: GNA

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