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Dec 4, 2017

AIDS Commission Honors ‘Unsung Heroes’

Turning to other issues….The National Aids Commission in commemoration of World Aids Day this past Friday hosted the first ever Red Ribbon Solidarity Day under the theme: “The Right to Health.” The award ceremony was geared towards recognizing and honouring those extraordinary people who create change within the lives and communities of People Living with HIV.  The initiative came about to honor Franklin Narciso Caliz, a member of the NAC District Committee Punta Gorda Branch, who lost his fight against the virus. Caliz is a vibrant and dynamic advocate for infected and affected persons in his community and following a call for submissions, five persons and one organization were recognized as Unsung Heroes for service to their respective communities. Communications and Programs Officer Arthur Usher says the hope is to make this an annual event.

 

Arthur Usher

Arthur Usher, Communications and Programs Officer, National AIDS Commission

“We decided to have some way, we need some way…because there were a lot of Narciso Calizes in the country who do this type of work, help families; are very known to the community but not know to the response as to what they have been doing throughout their lives. So we said well this is a great opportunity to honor the family of Mister Caliz as well as to honor those who are doing his type of work. So we said let’s develop a criteria, a way and we push it out through our tributaries, through the district commissions and we sought throughout the country people who have been doing this.  We had civil society, we had advocates, we had service providers and we had youth advocates. And so at the end we had six awardees. So Hand in Hand Ministries won for civil society service provision award. Again they won that because they are the only entity in the country who’s actually working with kids at that level in terms of service provision from birth through a programmatic way, throughout the first stages of their lives and their families.”

 

Also awarded were two former nurses from Belize City and Orange Walk, as well as Kenrick Gonzalez, a youth B.F.L.A. in Dangriga and Felix Ayuso, who was awarded posthumously for his worked with the San Pedro Aids Commission. 

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