The ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS

Dec 17 2012

CWB's role in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS was highlighted across the cricket media in a number of articles published to coincide with World Aid Day on December 1.

Focusing on the experiences of England Women's player and CWB volunteer Holly Colvin, the stories written by Luke Sellers appeared in The Times, ESPN CricInfo, The Cricketer website and a number of other places, shedding light on the seriousness of the epidemic and the difference the charity is making in Africa.

Many of these developments were witnessed first- hand by Holly, Luke and the Kenya team during their trip in October. They included voluntary HIV/AIDS testing tents being set up alongside a schools festival in Laikipia. This was a CWB first and something that proved incredibly successful, with the number of people getting tested – mainly schoolchildren- up by more than 3000% on a normal day.

Here Georgina Otieno, one of the HIV/AIDS nurses who carried out the testing, talks of the difficulties faced in combatting the disease in that area, including the shocking practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), polygamy and the stigma surrounding the disease.

The World Aid's Day press articles also included the thoughts of Nakuru-based teachers Jack Waicigo and Maggie Kamau who dealt with the devastating effects of the disease on a daily basis. Maggie spoke movingly of how she had lost pupils in her class to HIV/AIDS and had several more who were living with it. She wholeheartedly backed CWB's method of using cricket to help spread the key HIV/ AIDS messages, claiming the children remembered them far more clearly than if they had learnt them in a classroom.

Jack also agreed with this and said that CWB's work has had a huge impact in promoting gender equality in his school - even to the point of lowering teenage pregnancy.

The importance of empowering women – a key part of CWB's philosophy – was highlighted in the latest UNAIDS report, which was also released to coincide with World Aids Day.

The report showed that new infection rates have fallen by 50% in 25 countries, including a 25% drop in people being infected in Sub Saharan Africa when compared to 2001. However it also highlighted the fact that while progress has been made, this part of Africa is still suffering terribly at the hands of this disease, with 23.5 million people living with HIV and 1.8 million newly infected. It also stated that 90% of the world's children that acquired HIV in 2011 live in Africa.

Out of the CWB countries, Botswana and Rwanda have reduced their new infection rate by over half since 2001 with Kenya and Cameroon having reduced by between 25% and 49% but there is still much work to be done. Please continue to help CWB change 250,000 lives by 2020.

About The Author

Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) is a UK registered charity (number 1154576) that uses cricket as a vehicle for delivering health and social messages in sub-Saharan Africa. It is run almost entirely by the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers.
Since its formation in 2005 CWB has become one of the world's leading Cricket Development charities. It is dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket.