December 01, 2011

World AIDS Day

(The Moshi CAB was well represented!)
World AIDS Day Moshi, Tz style began with a celebration of KIWAKKUKI turning 15 years. While singing and cake was divided up, assignments were given for staff to either go downtown to the parade, or to the districts, some as far as 2 hours away. Swiftly the farthest reaching group grabbed posters which had been beautifully made by Lydia, and off they went. I had heard that the Moshi Rural celebration was to be in a Ward that you find by going to the Baobab trees, and that sounded fine, but I had too much work to do, so my assignment would be Moshi Urban's parade with Lydia and a few others. The day was beautiful and warm. The crowd was big and grew as the march began. The most enthusiastic group were the YWCA drummers and the drama group. They were really terrific and kept all spirits up as we waited to begin.

The parade moved down Mboyuni market towards Majengo and we passed children and many onlookers.

(Health Educator for Deaf Students in Kilimanjaro
We stopped briefly in the shade so that the chairs at the grounds near the municiple offices could be set up, and then began again. While we waited, two busloads of MUCCOBs students were dropped off. These students held their own banner and were, as all students are, very enthusiastic about nearly everything.

Some amazing things occurred at the ceremony. First of all, Regional leaders turned out (not just Mayors), the Ward leaders, and other dignitaries, including the police chief who is a fabulous woman! And then there was the drama, singing and incredible acrobatics of the Y folks. Three cheers!

It is important to note that only one week ago, the International Woman's Day March was held through downtown Moshi, and many of the same people were out marching IN THE POURING RAIN for the rights of women. KIWAKKUKI has been a leader in both issues and was featured once again at both marches. It does seem that the rights of women in all aspects of life fit in perfectly with eliminating AIDS. This year the slogan of Tanzania can stop the spread of AIDS would be appropriate for women's rights as well, as women have the right to their own reproductive health and the control of their own bodies-as well as rights in the workplace, at home and in school are now stressed. KIWAKKUKI OYE!

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