Community groups get US$20,000 to combat HIV/AIDS
Stabroek News
February 10, 2007

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Five community-based organisations have been awarded grants totalling US$20,000 under the United States (US) Ambassador's Fund for HIV/AIDS.

A press release said the fund is designed to enhance and support existing or new community activities to combat HIV and AIDS. It also aims to encourage communities to co-operate in fighting the epidemic and reduce the associated stigma and discrimination. The groups which received grants of US$5,000 each are Dance Alive, which aims to increase knowledge of the infection among youth in Georgetown, along the East Coast Demerara, in Linden and at Mahdia through a combination of dance and education; the Guyana Red Cross Society which intends to "scale-up" its 'Together We Can' programme targeting trainers, peer educators and 1000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years, from Regions Five and Ten, with information on the infection, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancy and the Ruimveldt Children's AID Centre which will provide a child-friendly space and safe recreational facilities, counselling and peer support aimed at alleviating the stigma and psychological trauma of children who are infected with or affected by the infection.

The Central Assembly of God was awarded US$3,741 and it aims to target 90 students at the St Barnabas Special School, Winfer Gardens Primary and the St Angela's Primary, 90 parents and 9 teachers with information about abstinence and faithfulness.

Guyanese Outreach was given US$1,259 and it intends to target youth from secondary schools, churches and community groups with information about abstinence, HIV/AIDS and other STIs and the consequences of premarital sex. The embassy awards grants for community-based initiatives on HIV-related issues that help to achieve the goals of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief programme in Guyana (PEPFAR). PEPFAR's goals entail preventing 15,432 new infections, enabling 9,000 persons including orphans and vulnerable children, to get care and support, and administering treatment to 3,500 persons by the end of 2008. The 2006 grants were recently signed at the local office of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program.