By Ada Zhang
In an effort to educate students about AIDS, the Students Interested in Global Health Today officers are conducting an entire AIDS series.
SIGHT is selling AIDS ribbons at 4 p.m. today in the Alexander Reading Room. For a dollar, students can purchase a small red ribbon to wear on World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1.
In addition to buying a ribbon today, students can stay and participate in a discussion on “Saturday Is for Funerals,” a book by Max Essex about people in Botswana who have been affected by AIDS.
“The book talks about people who devote most Saturdays to the burial of family members and friends who have died of AIDS in Botswana,” Richmond, senior, Jolene Damoiseaux, SIGHT president said.
Lincoln, Neb., junior, Ivy Stejskal, SIGHT fundraising chair, said World AIDS Day is a Sunday, students can wear it on the second as well to show support. World AIDS Day is held on Dec. 1 every year, according to its website. The purpose of World AIDS day is to unite people in the fight against HIV, show support for AIDS victims and honor those who have passed.
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action,” the World AIDS day website states.
The money SIGHT raises from selling ribbons will go to a philanthropy called Keep A Child Alive.
“This organization helps kids in Africa and India who have AIDS or have lost their parents from AIDS,” Stejskal said.
The Keep A Child Alive website states that the organization is “dedicated to providing life-saving HIV treatment, care, nutritious food, support services and love to children and families affected by HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India.”
Damoiseaux said learning about AIDS is important because it reveals what’s going on outside of Waco. She always knew what AIDS was, she said, but after reading the book and watching the documentary, she has come to understand how AIDS affects the lives of its victims.
“Just getting involved in organizations that try to increase global awareness is important to growth and development and your passion for service in the future,” Damoiseaux said. “It’s important to contribute to a cause that’s trying to alleviate the suffering of others.”
SIGHT will be selling ribbons again during the week of Nov. 18 in the Baylor Sciences Building. The exact time and date has not yet been confirmed, said Stejskal, the SIGHT fundraising chair. The last chance to purchase a ribbon is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 22 in the plaza outside of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Damoiseaux said the time and date will be posted on the SIGHT website once plans are solidified.
SIGHT will also be screening an AIDS documentary called “I Am Because We Are” at 4 p.m. Nov. 22 in Memorial Drawing Room. The book discussion and documentary screening are free and open to the public.
Something as small as buying a ribbon is a way for students to act in solidarity with someone they’ve never met, Stejskal said.
“You’re helping Africa and India have a brighter future,” she said.