Bracelet of Hope
As a girl I lived in Africa for two years and have felt a very strong desire to go back and help the community that left such a lasting impression on me. I am very fortunate to be involved with Bracelet of Hope, a grassroots organization that engages Canadian communities to the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa. The work is focused on Lesotho, Africa where almost one in four people is infected by the virus. I am presently the vice chair of Bracelet of Hope and was in Lesotho in the fall of 2014 to meet and learn further about the community we are helping. Bracelet of Hope takes a holistic approach to addressing the pandemic by supporting health, homes and jobs.
Lesotho is a small country with an HIV prevalence rate of 23.8 percent or about one in every four people. We work together with Basotho organizations on the front lines of the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Because so many people have died from AIDS in Lesotho, there are around 200,000 children who have lost one or both of their parents. Normally, family members care for children when their parents cannot but with so many orphans traditional support systems are being stretched.
Bracelet of Hope is working with some very remarkable Basotho leaders who are finding ways to care for AIDS orphans and enable them to stay in their own communities.
We know that there is a close interrelationship between poverty and HIV/AIDS. Our work includes helping those affected to make a living so that they have food, transportation and the necessary medicines to effectively treat the virus.
For the second year in a row, our Business-to-Business group travelled to Lesotho in October to help local business with workshops and mentoring. Our goal is to help connect local Canadian business owners with Lesotho business owners in a mutually rewarding spirit of co-operation.
To learn more about Bracelet of Hope, please visit www.BraceletOfHope.ca