Mentor Mothers Meet the Champions
mothers2mothers’ (m2m) Mentor Mothers and their HIV-negative children met with a distinguished group of former African presidents and leaders who comprise the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation. Committed to eliminating paediatric AIDS, members of the Champions transcend political partisanship to rally and support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. They also are committed to ensuring that all children in Africa are born free from HIV and that children living with HIV have access to life-saving treatment. The group recently announced that they will add adolescents and HIV to their portfolio of work.
“The Champions are determined to keep HIV high on the continental agenda,” said Mr Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairperson of the Champions. “We will leave no one behind and we will not rest until Africa has reached the goal of an AIDS-free generation.”
During their three-day meeting in Johannesburg, the Champions met a group of six HIV-positive mothers and their HIV-negative children, four of whom are Mentor Mothers with m2m’s programme in South Africa – Mentor Mother Nonhlanhla and Owami (age three), Vuyo and baby Amila (two months), Velna and Titsetso (two years), and Patricia and Omphile (age two).
The group said that being in the presence of these inspirational women and their beautiful children reminded the Champions of what they are advocating for. “Today, we come together as a strengthened group of Champions to reaffirm our commitment to ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to ensuring that mothers and children already living with HIV stay healthy,” said Dr. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi. “I am proud to be involved in the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation.”
Photo credit: UNAIDS/M. Safodien