On World Aids Day (December 1), Kouga Wind Farm joined hands quite literally with the Eastern Cape departments of health and social development, and non-profit youth organisation, LoveLife, to generate HIV/Aids awareness in KwaNomzamo township, just outside Humansdorp, in the Kouga Local Municipality.
More than 1,000 community members, wind farm, LoveLife and government representatives placed their painted red handprints on a giant 100m white ribbon, which they held high during a walk through the streets of the impoverished community. This was in the hope of creating a world record for the longest personalised human Aids Day ribbon – an attempt which will be now be checked by the relevant authorities.
The human awareness ribbon marked the culmination of an intensive educational drive that started with free HIV/Aids testing and clinic consultations for the public, and included presentations on the importance of healthy eating for those living with HIV. To this end, the principal of Humansdorp Secondary School received donations of seeds to establish a community garden.
Also on the programme was a short play and a talk by LoveLife on charting the way forward for “getting to zero” in terms of new infections, Aids-related deaths and discrimination.
Giving the audience a voice and an opportunity to raise their own issues was a key component of the day, with LoveLife’s Themba Maseti leading a community dialogue and feedback session and an HIV/Aids survivor sharing their personal testimonial of living with the disease.
Speaking at the event, Kouga Wind Farm community liaison officer Trevor Arosi said Aids was one of the major social challenges facing the youth of South Africa and that it was critical for the wind farm to play a constructive role in overcoming the disease.
“Events like the one today are an example of the synergies that can be achieved when all important stakeholders are involved,” said Arosi.
“Kouga Wind Farm will make a lasting impact within the local communities by tapping into the existing structures. It is clear that there is an abundance of young talent and community leaders committed to effecting the necessary change.”