I’m hosting a gig tomorrow night to mark the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. It’s in Bloc (Bath St, Glasgow) from 9pm, costs £4, and features music from the delightful Yvonne Lyon, Ben TD, and the Potential Strangers. How’s that for your money’s worth! Come along, bring yer mates, and lets raise some funds for Christian Aids vital work on the HIV/AIDS pandemic!

Positive+ World AIDS Day gig

Any Glasgow-ish bloggers wanna re-post the flyer on their site for me?! Thanks!

A Week In The Life

The past three weeks since I returned from the DRC have quite possibly been the busiest three weeks of my life! Work has been hectic (my own fault tho – learning time management skills!), and has pretty much been my life.

Thought I’d give you a glimpse of my last two weeks…

  • Spent a day in school doing HIV peer education;
  • Rearranged our office layout entirely;
  • Hung out with Jacob, a Dutch friend I meet in Uganda;
  • Lead two sessions looking at climate change & its impacts on poverty with youth groups in Banchory;
  • Got to share a bit about blogging during a Platform2 Connect day;
  • Had a DRC trip debriefing day in London, looking at what resources we’ll create from our trip;
  • Ran our DRC photo exhibition in London;

I’ve spent a lot of time on trains… In fact, Wednesday was spent entirely on trains, with a brief 2 hours in between to get changed & pick up stuff from the office, before getting on another one. It’s been great – I really love my job – but it’s so tiring. I ended up taking yesterday off and having a PJ day, was totally wiped.

Meet Nadine

Just over 2 weeks ago I was in the DR Congo with the rest of the Christian Aid gap year volunteers, visiting some of our partners there. We got to meet a lot of incredibly inspiring people, people who do an awful lot of good with limited resources. One of those partners we meet was Vorsi Congo, a community organization that works through the church to combat AIDS.

Vorsi Congo

They travel across the whole country, training religious leaders, who in turn get their religious communities talking about the issues, often for the first time. Rodger, the technical director, estimated that across the 11 provinces of the DRC, their message has reached about 8million people. They try to break down the stigma surrounding HIV using mediums such as song & drama.

Vorsi Congo

“Before, if you were HIV positive, no-one wanted to sit in the same pew as you at church. Now people are more happy to sit with them & even take communion with them.”

I meet Nadine when we visited Vorsi Congo. She is the pastor of a church, and also is a woman living with HIV.

Vorsi Congo

At one point as she shared her story with us, she said, “If I hadn’t have worked with Vorsi Congo, I’d be buried.” It really is a matter of life and death for people. The level of stigma surrounding HIV is still massive, and though Nadine is doing well, there are many people who have been shunned by their families and their churches when they find out they are HIV+.

We use this phrase a lot at Christian Aid, about ‘living positively with HIV’, and it’s only after meeting Nadine that I’m starting to understand what that really means. Nadine doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself, but instead she’s throwing herself into being a part of the solution. She’s using her story and her position in the church to help educate people.

To find out more about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, visit our website here.
To support our DR Congo crisis appeal , click here.

DR Congo articles

It would appear that I’m starting to make the rounds in regional media, about my trip to the DRC with Christian Aid…

There’s an article on Scottish Christian here, and I’ve just finished an interview with the Ballymena Times.

I promise I’ll start sharing some stories here soon…!

Office Time Lapse

We were moving everything around in the office today, rearranging the layout of the place, and someone had the ingenious idea of making a time lapse of it… Unfortunately we had already moved the desks before we started it, but here’s the rest of our morning…