Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Move to Stop AIDS Dance-a-Thon a Success!

Youth from around the state danced the night away at Plan USA's 5th annual Move to Stop AIDS Dance-a-Thon!

We were thrilled to raise $5,500 for Plan's HIV/AIDS programs in Zimbabwe, thanks to the hard work of YUGA youth, raffle prize money, and a generous donor who agreed to match everything raised at the Dance-a-Thon!

Check out pictures pictures from the Dance-a-Thon taken by YUGA member Rachel from Cranston East High School. Thanks to everyone who came out to a great night!

Two bands from Cranston East High School performed a song for the Dance-a-Thon.

Everyone at the Dance-a-Thon enjoyed music from DJ Tatu!
The finished pieces! Dance-a-Thon attendees helped paint four canvases to
reflect their feelings about AIDS in different communities of the world.
Mayor Cicilline came to our Dance-a-Thon! He had great things to say about YUGA, and was excited to receive a plaque of thanks from YUGA members.

Pictured above: Clare, Arisa, Livia, Angie, and Carissa.

Representatives from Edesia hosted a table at the Dance-a-Thon. Edesia is a global nonprofit that treats malnutrition and extreme hunger, located right here in Providence! To learn more, visit http://www.edesiaglobal.com/.

Dancers from PAIS performed a traditional bellydance!

PAIS dancers perform a dance they choreographed themselves!

Above, Linda and Daniel- mother and son- do a capoeira demonstration.

Emily and AliceMae had a great time at the Dance-a-Thon!

To host a Dance-a-Thon at your school or community center, contact yuga@planusa.org!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Landmark Legislation to Prevent Child Marriage is On the Move!

On December 1st, the US Senate unanimously passed the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act- a bill to protect girls in developing countries from early marriages. Girls as young as twelve can be married in many countries, which puts them at a great disadvantage for their health, education, and well-being.
“Tens of millions of women and girls around the world have lost their dignity, independence and lives due to child marriage,” said Senator Durbin, who first introduced the bill. “Child marriage denies these women and girls of an education, economic independence and is the root cause of many of the world’s most pressing development issues – HIV/AIDS, child mortality, and abject poverty. This bill is a powerful statement of our priorities as a nation and something that will change the lives of millions in some of the world’s forgotten places.”
The legislation will require the U.S. government to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent child marriage, with the goal of eliminating the practice worldwide. The bill also seeks to promote the educational, health, economic, social, and legal empowerment of women and girls, and ensure that child marriage is globally recognized as a human rights violation.
UNICEF estimates that 60 million girls in developing countries now aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18. If current trends continue, this number will increase by 100 million over the next decade. This past summer, YUGA members learned about child marriage at YUGA Leadership Camp and several YUGA youth delivered 11,500 letters signed by our supporters to Congress. Now that the bill is on the brink of becoming law, we need even more support to ensure that it gets passed!

Urge your Representatives to approve the legislation. Send pictures, make a phone call, or find other creative ways to let your Representatives know that the bill should be passed. Make sure that everyone you know understands the importance of this bill, and that they should urge their Representatives to pass the bill, too! To find out who your state’s representative is, visit https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml.

Click here for more information about Plan’s work and the Preventing Child Marriage Act.

You may also want to read an Op-Ed in the Washington Post from Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, about child marriage.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What in the World are YOU doing on World AIDS Day?

written by Katie Appel, DC Intern

On this December 1st, youth all over the world will unite to show support for the global battle against HIV/AIDS. The World AIDS Campaign’s website hosts an international calendar of World AIDS Day (WAD) events, and here is a sampling of ways young people across the globe will be acting out against AIDS:

  • Members of the South Asia Regional Youth Network will change 10,000 Facebook profiles to support WAD 2010 in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Iran.
  • In Nairobi, Kenya, youth volunteers who teach HIV/AIDS prevention through the performing arts will host a Youth Seminar for other teens.
  • Students in Bangkok will sell baked goods and merchandise and the profits will benefit a local home for disabled HIV positive children.
  • In Mexico City, university students will gather to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission and testing.
  • Students in Canada will present the “Viral Monologues,” stories performed by youth and written by those infected with HIV/AIDS.
  • Lastly, students in Providence, RI will host the YUGA Move to Stop AIDS Dance-a-thon!

So now that you know a little about what youth all over the world are doing on World AIDS Day, what will you do? Hang a poster in your school or community to spread awareness. Announce World AIDS Day through your personal social networking sites. Research how the spread of HIV/AIDS has impacted the population of one specific country. Sign up to volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS clinic or resource center. Make and pass out red ribbons to family and friends. Attend a local World AIDS Day event. Check out a documentary on HIV/AIDS from your local video store. Wear red! And don’t forget to get your friends involved because the more people that speak out against HIV/AIDS, the louder the voice will be!

Hopefully with worldwide participation and cooperation, we will one day see the end of this terrible epidemic. Until then, thank you for participating in World AIDS Day 2010, and for everything else you do to raise awareness for global issues the other 364 days of the year!

To check out the World AIDS Campaign’s international calendar visit: http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/en/World-AIDS-Day/WAD-2010-Events-Calendar
To find an HIV/AIDS documentary title, visit http://www.planusa.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/86637#AIDS
To learn more about the YUGA Move to Stop AIDS Dance-a-thon visit: http://www.planusa.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/255078