#Dunkordonate takes shape

Programme director at the launch JJ Tabane.

The role of civil society in the fight against AIDS can not be questioned in this country.

As they hold the front line in this fight, civil society organisations face a battle of their own which is a lack of funding.

In a bid to address this issue, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) with Civil Society Forum, people living with HIV and government, launched Splash for Hope yestermorning.

Splash for Hope is a fundraising campaign aimed at helping civil society organisations get funding and continue their work of fighting Aids.

It seeks to rally government, the business community and the general public to work together and raise funds in support of people living with HIV.

As part of the campaign, a book has been launched as well. Speaking at the launch, SANAC deputy chairperson Mmapaseka Letsike said the book is a recollection of the hardships and the tough times of losing millions of people who died of AIDS.

“The book is also a reminder of what we need to do now moving forward. We will remember that we have lost many people because of denial and lack of treatment, however, so much has been done and so much has been achieved.

“We must commend South Africa for where we are today,” said Letsike citing the reduction of mother to child infections as one of the achievements this country has seen.

Mmapaseka Letsike from SANAC.

Even though this country has been commended for the increased number of people in treatment, revelations at last year’s International AIDS Conference show that the fraction rate continues to rise among young girls.

New HIV infections are one of the things civil society organisations hope to fight with the funds generated from the Splash for Hope campaign.

Former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was expected to address the launch but couldn’t make it due to other commitments.

Speaking on behalf of the former Deputy President, Mlungisi Khumalo said: “The message that we are bringing today is that we are fully behind the Splash for Hope campaign.

“The good thing about it is that the campaign is driven by civil society themselves and supported by government and other stakeholders. We urge everyone to support the initiative and help fight HIV/Aids,” said Khumalo.

The Deputy President and the Minister of Health have already donated to the campaign.

It is up to South Africans from all walks of life to support the campaign by donating through an SMS line.

Donations to the campaign can be made through SMSsing the world Hope to 36239.

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Mzwandile Khathi

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