Proteas raise AIDS awareness

2012-01-19 16:22
Graeme Smith (File)
Cape Town - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith, along with fellow players Faf du Plessis, Alviro Peterson, Wayne Parnell and members of the coaching staff, on Thursday met a group of children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS.

This was done as part of an event to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa and its effects on children in particular.

The Think Wise Champion campaign, a partnership between the International Cricket Council, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was started in 2003 and aims to raise awareness of HIV across the cricketing world and reduce stigma and discrimination towards young people living with HIV.

The players provided a group of children from Kimberley’s Sinothando Children’s Home with a cricket coaching session, before participating in a question and answer session and a discussion on HIV with the youngsters. The home was established in 2003 and accommodates 35 children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS, some of whom are living with HIV. 

“Even though we are in the middle of an important series at the moment against Sri Lanka, it is important that we take time out of our preparation to support causes such as the Think Wise campaign," said Smith.

“By having the opportunity to learn about the issues that young people living in South Africa, who are affected by HIV, have to face on a day-to-day basis, hopefully we can raise awareness of the stigma and discrimination that they face.”

“I cannot believe that I was able to meet Graeme Smith, I feel so motivated and encouraged after spending time with the cricket players” said Masego Lubidla, a 16-year-old girl living in Sinothando Children’s Home, after a fielding session with Rob Walter and Mike Young.

A series of activities are planned across the cricketing world during 2012 - as part of the Think Wise campaign - to raise awareness of HIV. This includes supporting a number of grass-roots cricket projects in Africa, in partnership with Cricket Without Boundaries, in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.


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