Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Innovation: North Star and Art for AIDS Exhibit in Rome

Last week, Art for AIDS International opened a large exhibit in collaboration with North Star Alliance and the World Food Programme at the Second Annual Global Agriknowledge Share Fair in Rome – hosted at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN agency responsible for combating rural hunger and poverty in developing countries.

The exhibit, which featured the recently launched North Star Alliance / Art for AIDS International portfolio, presented a large selection of artwork produced by truck drivers, sex workers, and young people from Harare and Beitbridge Zimbabwe, made during a recent workshop series hosted by Hendrikus Bervoets, Founder and Executive Director of Art for AIDS International.

The goal of this exhibit was to raise awareness about the impact of HIV and STIs on mobile populations, and on their direct and indirect contacts across Africa. Further, the exhibit highlighted tremendous initiatives by North Star Alliance and the World Food Programme which address these issues.

“While Art for AIDS International has traditionally worked with young people, we realized it was important to recognize hidden links in the transmission of HIV in Africa”, explained Hendrikus.

Truck drivers, and the communities surrounding transport hubs, have traditionally lacked access to health care and information, and as a result, have been disproportionately affected by HIV and other diseases.

“By teaming up with North Star Alliance, an international not-for-profit organization that provides health care to mobile populations and communities surrounding borders and truck stops, we were able to adapt the Art for AIDS workshop model to bring important information, and hopefully a fun experience, to two communities heavily affected by these issues”.

The exhibit, which ran from 26-29 September, was well received with many people stopping by to purchase prints – the proceeds of which will support both Art for AIDS International and North Star Alliance projects in southern Africa.

We would like to thank IFAD, the World Food Programme, and North Star Alliance for their support.

Over the next few weeks Art for AIDS International, and North Star Alliance will scheduling a series of exhibits to further feature this exciting project. Stay tuned for more details.

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