Cause: Stephen Lewis Foundation – Turning the Tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa

I’m not usually the sort that bugs people to believe in or support a cause.  I’m wise enough to know that we all have causes that call to our own sense of compassion, empathy, or whatever fabric of your being that is drawn to benefiting others.  I hope you will forgive this contradiction of sort – though I expect any of you finding this page will have only found it searching for the subject.

The last few years have made me distinctly more socially aware than I was before.  I believe we all have a nature within us that demands of ourselves to try and search for an altruistic intention -or higher cause.  Awakening to my own hurt –some self-inflicted– really heightened my feelings of empathy, sympathy, and compassion.  I guess this is what they mean to grow old.  My perception of Buddhist texts would say this is drawing upon our five negative emotions and turning them into the five “ultimate” wisdom’s.

I try not to only allow myself to measure my path through these illusions and disillusions.  I don’t see oneself as being able to see through all of their own illusions of self .   In absence of a true measurement, I try and allow my conscious to dictate my awareness of my contributions and vices.   I will continue trying to see clearly, being compassionate to myself and to all beings –  I have deep gratitude towards all.  I could not exist without any of you.  We all have good and negative contributions.   I try and stay mindful and accept at moments I will fail, but continue on trying . . .

I use the Buddhist texts as reference as they ask of us to perceive everyone we meet as our potential mothers and fathers.  Stephen Lewis tells of the stories of  the Grandmothers in Africa.  Grandmothers  in Africa take a large role in their families, as many children are left orphaned by the disease.

And with that introduction …

The Stephen Lewis Foundation supports community-based organizations working to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa.  Since 2003, we have funded more than 300 projects in 15 countries.  These grassroots groups are the lifeline for their communities: they provide counselling and education about HIV care, prevention and treatment; distribute food, medication and other necessities; reach the sick and vulnerable though home-based health care; help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren.

Many of us in developed countries tend to take much of our wealth for granted.  Our lives are busy, hectic, and bustling with never-ending demands that we demand of ourselves.  And compassion for yourself needs to begin first before benefiting others.

Without wanting to make an emotional call myself , or the opposing sphere of giving you statistics of a true pandemic in the developing world – I, simply, request you to take a look at The Stephen Lewis Foundation.   The founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Stephen Lewis, was the United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and has led many initiatives for raising awareness of the toll HIV/AIDS is taking on Africa.  He gives a very emotional depiction of the situation and calls upon us in the developed world to help defeat this disease in the book  ‘A Race Against Time’ (the link points to a page at stephenlewisfoundation.org that points to a cbc.ca transcript of an interview with him) – the book can be purchased here.  I will allow the book to speak for herself.

I have nothing but admiration for this man.

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