5th December, 2011
Putting Africa's health in Africa's hands: AMREF's first Diaspora unity event
To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day, AMREF UK organised an event on the 1st December entitled ‘Africa’s health in Africa’s hands’, aimed at reaching out to Africans in the UK Diaspora.
The event took place at AMREF UK’s office in central London and showcased AMREF’s work, with the opportunity for attendees to join AMREF in working towards our vision for ‘better health for Africa’.
The event featured presentations and speeches from AMREF’s CEO Belinda Coote, as well as an address from keynote speaker Dr Noerine Kaleeba, Vice Chair of AMREF's International Board. Dr Kaleeba spoke passionately about her personal commitment with and fight against HIV/AIDS, and how she founded Africa's first support organisation for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. ''AMREF fights stigma and the discrimination which surrounds it for people living with HIV'', she said. ''I am a product of that fight''.
Dr Kaleeba has been a governance member of several prestigious bodies, including the Uganda AIDS commission and the WHO Global Commission on HIV/AIDS. In 2005 Dr Noerine Kaleeba, was aptly named, “The Angel of Africa” in a ceremony at the University of Dundee in Scotland, where she also received a Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of her tireless work promoting the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.
'We invite Africans living in the Diaspora to join AMREF to build a healthier Africa, a prosperous Africa' - Dr Kaleeba
Dr Kaleeba underlined the importance of people sharing their networks, contacts and influence to support AMREF's vision of Africa's health being in Africa's hands, and a healthy Africa being a prosperous Africa. The event was very well attended with notable attendees including Her Excellency the Ambassador of Uganda (in the photo below with Belinda Coote) and Eastenders actress Ellen Thomas. Such was the passion and commitment in the room to do something more for Africa, we are keen to establish a Diaspora committee and will be planning similar events in the future.
'AMREF speaks with a unique voice that represents the real health challenges of real people in Africa' - Belinda Coote, CEO AMREF UK
Find out more about AMREF's work fighting HIV/AIDS