08 May 2010
By Wahengbam Joykumar
The prevailing situation of HIV/AIDS is deep rooted in this world. The impact of this pandemic disease makes turmoil in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres of the world community. Every public authority runs around hue and cry to control this disease at any cost. It may be mentioned that the government of Manipur has been adopted a state policy on AIDS in the year 1991 as one of the pioneering state in India. However, all the programmes for supporting the PLWHs are mainly focus with adult persons. On other hand, there are many children affected by HIV/AIDS in the state which is needed to be called for attention by the authorities concerned. According to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the child (CRC), the best interest of the children should be given priority in any state policy and legislation etc. In this regard, the Francois Xavier Bagnout (FXB) International has been working for supporting and empowering the most vulnerable children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS as well as those at risk of contracting the virus.
The FXB International is named after the death of Francois Xavier Bagnout, a young helicopter rescue pilot who died at the age of 24 years during a mission at Mali in West Africa.The death of her only son proved to be the turning point in the life of his mother–Countless Alvina Du Boisrouvray, a well known well journalist and filmmaker. Selling three quarters of her personal assets including her film producing company, she established the Foundation FXB International in 1989.Today the NGO FXB International runs 87 programmes across 18 countries including India working in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Program of the regions. Now, the FXB India Suraksha, Manipur Branch is also working with the 100 families identified as BXB village at Singjamei, Imphal which is providing Nutrition, Education, Health & psychological and income generating activities supports with care giver and children affected by the disease.
World AIDS Orphans Day is being observed on 7th May every year. This event was a Francios Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) international’s initiative. To bring the plight of millions of hapless children world wide who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, to the notice of all and to mobilize attention of government and communities, FXB and its founder Countess Albina Du Boisrouvray launched a global movement in year 2002 to observe 7th May as world AIDS Orphans’ Day. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General had offered his personal support to this campaign. Since then the celebration of 7th May as World AIDS Orphan Day has gained support from various countries prominent leaders and communities. Providing care to AIDS orphans and vulnerable children as a part of their inherent right has been a key message emphasized by this movement all over the world
The theme of this year World AIDS Orphans’Day is “i am POSITIVE”. The theme is a multilayered perspective from various stakeholders involved in –rearing a security net for children affected by AIDS. These stakeholders do not work in isolation. Their work is intricately connected with the immediate surroundings of the children and with the larger community in which they function. The theme can be viewed from the perspective of the affected child in the literal sense of being HIV Positive and from the perspective of the social worker who is positively sure of making a difference in the child`s life. Another interpretation, which forms the core philosophy behind the event, is the vision to raise consciousness among the larger community to make them concerned for the AIDS orphans and thereby compassionate enough to contribute to their well–being. It’s an effort at making YOU says, “I am POSITIVE that I can stop all discrimination, ill–treatment and exploitation of children affected by AIDS from my sphere of influence.”
For the first time in the history of HIV and AIDS care in Manipur, the organizations working on Drugs and AIDS care have joined hands to observe this international event and pledge to lobby the policy makers to amend and enforce the state policy on protection of rights of orphans and vulnerable children who are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
- WAOD was initiated in 2002 by Albina du Boisrouvray, President &. Founder of FXB, to bring attention to the millions of children affected by AIDS.
- Every May 7, FXB organizes a grassroots campaign to bring attention to the plight of children affected by AIDS and advocate on their behalf.
- WAOD supporters lobby their home governments to direct at least 10% of all HIV and AIDS funding to support orphans and children made vulnerable by the pandemic.