POSITIVELY SPEAKING SPEAKERS BUREAU
Education on how AIDS is transmitted is the best way to help modify behavior that has such deadly results. Operating in the Bay Area, this program started in 1997. The program’s aim is to provide a picture of what it was like before becoming HIV positive, what happen after being diagnosed and what is it like now. It addresses how to live a full life through treatment, support, and other available tools, making presentations to community groups, schools, and faith-based organizations on prevention and treatment issues. The program is run both locally and abroad. Originally this program was provided through a joint effort by both AFAA and Catholic Charities and known
as the Positively Speaking Program, the Speakers Bureau is now solely an AFAA operation. The program started in 1997. This is a program we would like to expand into people of color communities with your help. Please contact us if you would like to become a speaker or are a school that would like people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS into your school or church. There is money available through the state of California for middle and high schools to cover the cost of the program locally. The program is run both locally and abroad in African countries.
AID for AIDS Africa has been involved in a number of projects since its inception. These projects have been designed to modify behavior. They include a Speaker's Bureau, an Educational Wellness program called "Living Well, Living Healthy, a series of ongoing presentations and forums focused on the latest treatment and services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Also we provide Support for the Supporters- Supporting Advocacy via support group development and administration. Recovery from Addiction in Ghana is new. We are developing programs intended to get 12 Step programs and Treatment established in West Africa. Lastly, using a collaboration of key organizations we are building an International Exchange Program to support all of the above.
OUR OVERALL GOAL
Build Collaborative Partners with…
HIV Support Groups
Recovery from Addiction Organizations
Wellness Minded Organizations
Supporting Universal access to medicine
Living Well Living Healthy
The Living Well, Living Healthy program is an educational program designed by people living with an HIV diagnose.
Our focus is on Wellness and using medication, traditional and alternative as tools for living. We also discuss other tools that connect us to a more complete way of living life in spite of the presence of HIV. Its purpose is to develop positive, effective life management skills using science and the invaluable experience of those who are engaging life with a new fervor. These forums are also designed to motivate positive people to engage life knowing that it is possible to thrive even with an HIV diagnose using the tools discussed as part of these presentations. We use a holistic approach to care and treatment. The forums are also designed to help prevent people not infected with HIV/AIDS to practice healthier choices in sexual and overall behavior as well.
These forums are a series of ongoing presentations in a variety of community venues including AIDS service organizations, treatment from addiction programs, faith-based communities, health related events, schools, and colleges, both locally and internationally. The presentations focus on the latest treatments and services being offered that are benefiting people living with HIV/AIDS. We discuss major topics of interest from HIV related conferences. AFAA also utilizes the media to hold public forums telling the truths of people living with HIV/AIDS. AFAA collaborates with the AIDS PROJECT of the East Bay, East Bay AIDS Center, San Francisco AIDS Foundation and several other faith-based ministries like East Bay Church of Religious Science in order to implement the forums locally. AFAA also works in conjunction with several pharmaceutical companies to provide the necessary support needed to get our message of “Wellness” out to our community. In Africa, and especially in Ghana, AFAA collaborates with several non-governmental organizations to reach an audience of thousands through use of these forums.
Educational Consulting/Program Facilitation
AFAA functions as a consultant in the development and implementation of an Advocacy council.
The HIV AIDS Advocacy Council (HAAC) Our Purpose Statement…
To create a voice for the underserved and unheard populations at risk for HIV/AIDS
Help build and expand services to provide an atmosphere of WELLNESS
To educate and connect community resources and information
Help eliminate social disparities, stigma and unhealthy behavior
Creating a new WORLD
In AFAA is also developing a curriculum designed to produce new youth and adult HIV community and peer advocates in collaboration with AIDS Project of the East Bay.
In previous years, APEB launched a program named “Call to Action” it utilized social expression via the Balls and Community Forums speaking to audiences already focused on the needs of the community. As a next step, we have concluded that getting people trained as peer advocates would be a natural progression for what has already been established. With this in mind, AFAA would like to offer a more pro-active holistic approach to advocacy by enlisting those members of the community who are ready to take advocacy to the streets. Providing a forum where the people in the street can communicate what works to a program designed to educate other advocates. Such a program is the “Living Now” program currently being offered by ACRC in Redwood City. (See me for more detailed information) Using this model or one like it, we can produce the kinds of people who can go into the community (places where agencies and forums do not reach) and engaged their peers on their own level. Learning how to love ourselves and the many ways we can demonstrate that love through the experiences of those who have benefited by using the tools offered as part of this curriculum. This approach to action actually prepares people affected and infected with HIV to speak more concisely to the issues at the planning council level as well as support advocacy via forum. Sharing their own experiences dealing with the day to day issues is its purpose. To further develop this model. AFAA offers to create this program with the support of APEB and interested community members to keep pace with the ever increasing demand for advocacy in the east bay.
Let’s sit down with community members and interested community based organizations and talk about the viability of these concepts to determine the number of creative ways we can reach these goals.. What monies, collaborations, facilities, educational materials, and publicity it takes to bring these idea’s into manifestation.
EAST BAY AIDS WALK
AFAA is also on the planning committee for the East Bay AIDS Walk in Oakland since its inception in 2004. AFAA and East Bay Church of Religious Science have partnered for two consecutive years, creating the largest team walking with a focus on Living Well.
Why Walk in the East Bay AIDS WALK?
First, the goal is to raise awareness regarding our ability to live well with any diagnose. Secondly, we are interested in supporting the organizations that are already working directly with this community by raising $1500 + and third we want to expand our ability to reach the larger community through prevention messages, community forums and other activities.
Our walking team- EBCRS-Positively Speaking supports existing programs as well as creating new opportunities to be more involved in events like World AIDS Day, National Testing Day and the Balm of Gilead Week of Prayer for HIV.
Our "Positively Speaking" program already goes into the schools, churches and health fairs to tell the truth about living with HIV/AIDS. We have been doing this since 2003. We have spoken to hundreds of children knowing that our experiences have helped them become more aware of thinking and behaviors that can lead to HIV infection.
The declaration by Alameda county officials of a State of Medical Emergency (since 1999) regarding new HIV infections among women of color in Alameda County is a little known fact. Women between 14 and 24 are the fastest growing group becoming infected. Also not well known outside of the HIV community is the fact that most of the agencies have experienced such deep budget cuts that some may be closing in 2008. Staffs have been cut to the bare minimum. Services are being discontinued. The people who are most affected have little or no voice to address the cuts and the growing numbers of new people living with HIV are being less supported each year. We must speak by walking, raising awareness by building services for our community. We must take responsibility now!
Humanitarian Missions and Cultural Tours
Annually, since 1999 AFAA has taken members of our community (Health-care providers, people living with HIV, educators and recovering addicts) and organizations to Africa to teach and learn about the effects of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. What we have learned is how to more effectively address the needs of people living with HIV at the level of the peoples need. We have worked with 8 organizations consistently since 1998 providing educational forums medical supplies and medicine. We now work with over fifteen organizations providing educational and medical support. Our new focus is to support the emerging national support groups of PLWA‘s (People Living with AIDS). We continue to focus on Children’s Home (orphanages) and the new twelve step programs initiated by members of those fellowships who traveled with us in 2004. Since our last visit in 2008, new support in the form of a clean and sober house has been made available to recovering addicts. We will support this effort with literature and workshops related to recovery from addiction. We work with the faith-based communities and government programs supporting people living with HIV/AIDS. We through our collaborative efforts have made many accomplishments building bridges all over the US and Africa. Please contact us and join us on our next trip as a Health Ambassador, sharing your talents, skills and resources.
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GHANA CHIROPRACTIC PROGRAM
Goal: To provide Chiropractic to the masses of the people of Ghana
1. Develop a system where chiropractors can work in the hospitals
2. Continue to expand on the chiropractic mission trips
3. Develop a chiropractic legislature
Chiropractic Service Article (click the link to read the article)
HIV/AIDS SUPPORT GROUPS
AFAA is providing an ongoing series of dialogue directly with people living with HIV/AIDS in African communities. Its purpose is to raise awareness by sharinare rg what works in the U.S., Ghana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. It is through this exchange of information we learn to see a more holistic approach to prevention and treatment. Also, its intention is to prepare people who eady to share their stories with family and community members. We share our experiences so that others can learn to live even in resource poor environments.
U. S. and African Exchange Program
AFAA with our local and international partners is implementing an exchange program bringing staff as Interns from African ASO’s (AIDS service organizations) to the US for 6 months internships and sending American ASO’s staff to Africa to build bridges and provide solutions to our many common challenges relating to stigma, discrimination, fear. We are building a program with an African International organization called NAP+ along with APEB as a local partner.
Ghana National Substance Abuse Treatment Program
AFAA is consulting with the Ghana National Narcotics Control Board to design a national treatment program for treatment of substance abuse. AFAA is also working with the Ghana AIDS Commission in the development of prevention messages and programs as it relates to behaviors while being under the influences alcohol and other drugs. We need help from you in this project as there are no real treatment programs for addiction and only a handful of 12 step meetings in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. Healthcare professionals do not believe people can recover from addiction. Members of the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship started the 1st NA meeting in 2004. We have had members come on each trip since then supporting the 3 meetings that exist in a country of 21,000,000 people. Below is a paper written by Maurice Graham describing the situation.
Article on Addressing Addiction in Ghana (click the link)
In 1999, hand delivered steamer trunk bags thousands of dollars worth of medications including anti-viral medications and medications to treat opportunistic infections to the Korle-Bu teaching hospital. AFAA made 20+ presentations telling our story of hope and recovery to HIV support groups, government organizations and schools including the University of Ghana coordinated by the Minister of Health.
In 2000- Presented at the International AIDS Conference in S. Africa. AFAA partnered with the Swaziland government and the Economic Development Fund Foundation, which lead to the improvement of Swaziland’s AIDS services. AFAA was responsible for
In 2001, partnered with the Swaziland government and the Economic Development Fund Foundation, which lead to the improvement of Swaziland’s AIDS services by instituting more structured family and medical counseling programs, and the development of new and much more cost effective medication regimens using traditional folk medications.
In 2002, organized and participated in a long-term survivor’s forum on an Oakland public access cable channel in conjunction with the African American AIDS Emergency Task Force. Continue to support our partners in Ghana with medication, medical supplies, condoms and educational materials. Continue to speak on radio and TV regarding recovery from HIV and Addiction.
In 2002, participated in a collaborative trip to Zimbabwe during which AFAA assisted the “Mother of PEACE Community,” an orphanage where 75% of the children are HIV positive. Included in the donations were $12,000 in cash and 26 duffle bags filled with clothing, school and medical supplies. We shared our stories of recovery from HIV in schools and HIV service organizations. AFAA became a federal educational non profit organization.
In 2003, lead a group of doctors and nurses to Ghana, and recruited gay and lesbian, substance abuse organizations and AIDS service organizations to participate in prevention and education activities, and distributed pamphlets and condoms in areas known for dangerous sexual activities.
In 2004, traveling with AFAA, members of a 12-step program concerning substance abuse, initiated its 1st meeting in Ghana. Provided written and audio recovery information through the fellowships local to the San Francisco bay-area.
In 2005, was responsible for getting new HIV testing equipment to an AIDS clinic operating in Accra Ghana. The equipment was obtained though one of our partner relationships in the U.S.
In 2006, AFAA was responsible for the shipment of a 40 foot container for humanitarian relief. It was a collaboration that included the Port of Oakland, Oakland Public Schools, Mother Wright Foundation, many health related organizations and the faith-based community working with AFAA. We also
took a group of Chiropractors to service HIV and recovery related organizations and their clients. Also serviced were children’s homes (orphanages) and the faith based community.
In 2007, The Chiropractors returned to expand its program and gather support for the opening of its own clinic as part of an extension program for the Life Chiropractic colleges in Hayward, Ca. and Atlanta Ga. AFAA continue to support the 12 step program people with books, literature and equipment to operate the program. 2 additional meetings have been added to the original meeting in Accra.
In 2008- Organized and facilitated an HIV AIDS Advocacy Council in Oakland Ca. Made over 20 community forums focus on “Wellness” in the San Francisco bay area. AFAA consulted in the development of a national treatment program with our partners including the Narcotics Control Board in Ghana.
2009– Consulting on providing an exchange program between African and American ASO’s. AFAA received a community service award from the Oakland Dinner Club.
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