Why am I riding in the Canada Africa Partnership Ride? I really want to get to 2030 – the date the global community thinks is realistic to be able to say that the AIDS pandemic is really really over. Like most of us I have lost people in Canada and in East Africa. I have quite a few friends who are HIV+ and many go through periods of suffering and then come out of it and go into periods of thriving thanks to ARVs. It’s both hard and easy to explain why this work is so important to me. Some of my friends take care of their brothers and sisters children. One friend takes care of 17 nieces and nephews all HIV/AIDS orphans. Another friend takes care of 12 nieces and nephews while she herself is on ARVs. Some of my friends are poor, some are middle-class but made poor by taking care of so many children. It’s hard to understand the reality of this, of what this is really like in everyday life, how to deal with such grave loss and how hard it is to provide love to all of the children affected, to put all these children in school, to pay school fees, so that they too can have some sort of future. I guess we try to focus on resilience instead of the brutality of it, which is why I’m glad to be involved with CAP/AIDS Network and the community partners that provide homes and care to AIDs orphans, put kids in school, and who continue to expand health networks and livelihoods – always working towards 2030. This is why I’m riding.
The bike is also symbolic of hope and what’s possible. It’s the bike that gets people to too far to reach places, that gets produce to market, that expands the work of health care workers. It is an ambulance and it can make the difference between a teenager going to school or not. If you want to ride with us or sponsor a rider in this year’s CAP/AIDS Canada Africa Partnership Ride on June 14th click on the link: Ride or Sponsor.
Posted by Christine Durant