A little bit of late night inspiration :)
In this video, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay talks about the human cost of homophobia and transphobia. Around the world, people are arrested, attacked, tortured and killed, just for being in a loving relationship.
“We cannot let these abuses stand”, the High Commissioner says, calling on States to repeal discriminatory laws and ban discriminatory practices. “Punish violence and hatred, not love.”
In 79 countries, territories and areas, there are still laws that criminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults. These laws are serious barriers to an effective AIDS response and are driving lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people underground where they cannot access life-saving services. Read the full message from UNAIDS.
Definitely worth reading.
Performing Reconstructive Surgery in the Gaza Strip
My name is Mateja Stare. I’m 38 and I am from Slovenia. In Ljubljana, the capital, I work in the country’s largest hospital. I am an operating room nurse. I’ve just come back from the Gaza Strip, where I spent a month on mission with MSF.
To say that you want “to help people in need” can sound a little superficial, and even frivolous, but it’s also true. I really believe that after you’ve organized your life and everything is going well, the time comes when you need to share your expertise and your experience with other people—with people who haven’t had the same luck. So why not join up with a humanitarian organization?
I worked as the operating room supervising nurse in Gaza. I managed, directed, trained, evaluated, coordinated, organized, and planned everything in coordination with the surgical activities. We worked in an MSF field hospital, in tents set up in front of Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, a city 20 kilometers south of Gaza City, where MSF has its office and house.
Because of the events, we were only able to operate during for four days of that month-long mission, but we decided to do the maximum number of operations per day. There are posters hanging all across the Gaza Strip with information about this program inviting potential patients to consult our teams. The day before the surgeries began, the surgeons—both Palestinian and expatriate—carefully examined 200 patients. In the end, we operated on 25 people and dressed the wounds of two additional sedated patients.
Read the rest of Mateja Stare’s account from the his time in the Gaza Strip.
Photo: Palestinian Territories 2012 © Mateja Stare/MSF An MSF staff member tends to a young burn victim.
Yesterday was our three week mark until the Aware-a-fair takes place! It definitely has been a busy couple of weeks, but we are finally starting to see this event come together. We have been emailing countless organizations, and recruiting volunteers, and all in all just getting unbelievably excited for this event to happen!
I really have became enamoured with event planning, so much so that Emily and I are going to a global issues camp in two weeks where we will propose the second annual Aware-a-fair for a chance to win a $1000 grant. It has been an extremely rewarding process, and despite the stress, we want to do it all over again.
We have received so much support from so many different sources in pursuing this process, so to everyone out there - THANK YOU! You guys are the best :)
Such a great story!
DRC: A Fashion Show Featuring Women Living with HIV
This past March was designated women’s month in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In order to close it out on a high note, Doctors Without Borders teams in DRC did something a little unusual. Along with Médecins du Monde and the Réseau National Des Organisations d’Assise Communautaires des PVV (the RNOAC, a national network of community-based organizations that assists people with HIV/AIDS), they organized a fashion show on March 30 that featured 12 women living with HIV/AIDS. The goal was threefold: to fight discrimination against people living with HIV, to alert the public to the tragic lack of access to treatment in the country, and to show what is possible when treatment is made available.
The fashion show was designed to send the message that with proper treatment, people with HIV/AIDS can live a normal life and even flourish.
In front of a supportive, cheering audience, the women walked with poise and dignity, pausing at the end of the runway to deliver short messages in proud, confident voices.
“Do I look ill to you?” one woman said.
“I’ve been living with HIV for 14 years and I’m doing great, thanks to ARVs!” another announced.
“I’ve broken the silence,” said a third. “Now it’s up to you to make my voice heard!”
Photo: DRC 2012 © MSF
Women living with HIV walk in the March 30 fashion show in Kinshasa.