Reflecting on World AIDS Day



On World AIDS Day this December 1st, we at Firelight reflect on the progress we have made and how far we have yet to go in bringing lifesaving treatment and crucial services to some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.  We stand strongly by our partners in Africa who have been providing essential support—education, economic empowerment, nutritional support, and protective safety nets—to children in communities affected by HIV and AIDS.  We believe that when communities—and the grassroots organizations that serve them—are strengthened, communities will become more resilient and responsive to any crises that affect them.

In Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, we are working to support local community based organizations to develop and implement programs and services for children and families, which support early childhood development. With the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, our goal is to increase the percentage of young children affected by HIV and AIDS who achieve age-appropriate milestones in the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains. To do this, we are partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs), which are rooted in communities across Africa and reach young children and families in large numbers.  You can read more about our work on early childhood development in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia—countries that remain greatly affected by HIV and AIDS to this day—here .

As part of our commitment to global collaboration around the most difficult issues concerning children in Africa, Firelight has long been a member of the Coalition of Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA), a gathering of partners committed to placing children at the forefront of the response to the HIV and AIDS crisis worldwide.  Today, the Coalition’s Chairs Lisa Bohmer and Noreen Huni, authored an article in Huffington Post to commemorate World AIDS Day and make the case for specifically targeting affected and infected children in the continued response to HIV and AIDS.

Firelight—in its 16+ year history—has always believed in the power of community to build a better future for vulnerable children and that includes those impacted and affected by HIV and AIDS.  On World AIDS Day, we strongly reaffirm our commitment to these children in Africa and to the community-based organizations that support them every day.