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HIV/AIDS related resources should be geared towards grass root movements” – Stephen Lewis

By : Yohannes Ayalew

Photos : Yohannes Ayalew

At the screening of the African Grandmothers Tribunal Movie, one-time Canada United Nations Ambassador and noted United Nations Envoy for HIV / AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, urged those in attendance the need to empower the grassroots in Africa in our determination to deter the spread of the disease in Africa.

The movie screened at the Bloor Cinema had a full house of activists, diplomats, students and concerned citizens. The movie follows the work of African grandmothers and their activism and the impact they are having on the ground. The movie was a soundtrack of inspiring work by African women and a call for the international world to help them become more empowered in the fight that has killed untold number of human beings.DSC05288

The camera follows these grandmothers, from Uganda and the Kingdom of Swaziland, as they testify in front of the people’s tribunal in Vancouver Canada and visit villages and towns as they empower their fellow men and women. The film chronicled their journey that is often brutal, human and inspiring.

Lewis, whose foundation invests $70 million a year in its HIV work in Africa, celebrated and applauded the resilience of these women. For him, these women are the actors that are transitioning from aid recipients to advocates for human rights.

At the end – Lewis challenged the recent claim by UNAIDS that has boldly predicted the end for the HIV pandemic. For the one-time leader of the Ontario NDP and son of the legendary NDP leader, David Lewis,”The struggle on the ground is still extraordinary”. He continued, “All the efforts should go towards front-line level”.

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