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Jun 1, 2005

Y.W.C.A. seeks role in fighting AIDS

Story PictureIt’s one of the world’s largest organisations dedicated to the advancement of young women… so it’s no wonder that the folks at the Y.W.C.A. are taking a hard look at the global AIDS epidemic–a scourge that is increasingly affecting Belizean females. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has more.

Sheryl Terry, Membership Chair, Y.W.C.A., Belize
?I mean people my age are dying, and that?s a concern to me. A lot of people are preaching abstinence, but that?s not realistic. We have to get the facts out that HIV/AIDS is really killing people of my generation.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
This week thirty women leaders from the Caribbean are meeting in Belize to see what their worldwide organisation, the Young Women?s Christian Association, can do to address the problem of HIV and AIDS in the region. According to the latest UNAIDS figures, AIDS has now become the leading cause of death among Caribbean adults between the ages of fifteen and forty-four.

Musimbi Kanyoro, General Secretary, World Y.W.C.A.
?It is important because this illness is killing more people in the world today than any other thing that is happening, not malaria, not even the wars. And it is important because now more than half of the people who are dead from HIV/AIDS are women and who are infected and living with HIV/AIDS. If we are a women?s organisation, then there is a lot of responsibility on us. People are going to be asking us, what are you doing, why do you say that you are a women?s organisation that reaches out to help change and inform communities and give knowledge to the communities. So we feel vulnerable, we feel responsible, we feel accountable. This is important.?

World Y.W.C.A. General Secretary Musimbi Kanyoro says her organisation reaches out to twenty-five million people in one hundred and twenty-two countries across the globe. Kanyoro says it is not the first time that World Y.W.C.A. has met to discuss the issue of AIDS and HIV, as the effort has been ongoing since the early 80?s.

Musimbi Kanyoro
?Here in the Caribbean we had a regional meeting in Guyana about four years ago where it was the first time to enforce the fact that every organisation needs to do something on HIV/AIDS. And right now we are doing sort of another check up. And that time the Y.W.C.A.?s in the Caribbean began a concretisation and they travelled from one Y.W.C.A. to the next with a torch saying that it is our responsibility to work on HIV and AIDS. They made a big map that showed what they were going to do, so we are going to be asking for the accountability.?

Kanyoro remains optimistic that they will receive the funds needed to carry out the recommendations made at the end of the conference. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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