Monday, March 31, 2014

Cesar Chavez's Birthday

Today is the birthday of Cesar Chavez, a Hispanic American activist, organizer, change agent, and labor leader. Chavez dedicated his life to improving the lives of migrant workers and others through his activism. His legacy is an inspiration not just for those of Hispanic American descent, but for us all. 

Read more about his life here: https://www.pbs.org/itvs/fightfields/cesarchavez.html

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Join us for a Save Ryan White Part D Call to Action Conference Call

A CALL TO ACTION!

Join us for a Save Ryan White Part D Call to Action Conference Call to link all of our efforts to help! Everyone is welcome--both individuals and organizations. 

Conference Call Information

04/04/2014 from 10 am CST to 11 am CST

Conference Call Dial-in number: (605) 475-4000
Participant Access Code:
998769
Call Hosts: Save Ryan White Part D Initiative; The Resource Group

Conference Call Agenda

1. Greetings/Welcome
2. Introduction of Initiative leadership
3. Introduction of call participants
4. Quick summary of the Part D "problem"
5. Overview of community efforts that have already occurred
6. Overview of future community efforts and how you can help
7. Group discussion on additional community efforts that can be incorporated
8. Connecting all efforts: social media, sharing contact info, etc
9. Action items and assignment of roles
10. Helpful resources (from PWN, etc)
11. Questions/Comments/Next Steps
12. Adjourn

*Please email us at SaveRyanWhitePartD@gmail.com if you'd like us to send over the (optional) call materials for your review!

Friday, March 28, 2014

International HIV activitist and humanitarian Hydeia Broadbent comes to Houston, Texas

Doctors predicted that Hydeia Broadbent, who was born with HIV, wouldn't live past the age of five! Today, the nearly 30 year old Hydeia will be a keynote speaker at an event in Houston, Texas, discussing her decades of work as an international HIV and human rights activist, and encouraging others.

Read more about Hydeia here: 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/HIV-AIDS-activist-describes-life-as-blessed-5358653.php
HIV/AIDS activist describes life as 'blessed'
www.houstonchronicle.com
Nearly three decades later, the activist continues her tireless mission of educating people on the preventability of the disease with a stop Saturday at the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Celebration in southwest Houston. Broadbent was adopted as...

Free stigma webinar from the Latino Commission on AIDS

Stigma, when associated with HIV, another medical condition, mental illness or disability, prevents a person from seeking evaluation and treatment, disclosing the diagnosis to those most likely to provide support, and following treatment guidelines. Health related stigma destroys human dignity.

The Latino Commission on AIDS will be hosting a Stigma webinar free of charge on Monday, March 31, 2014 at 2 pm EST. To learn more, please visit this link:


http://www.latinoaids.org/

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Advocates to Protest Elimination of HIV Healthcare for Poor Women and Children: “No HIV+ Women and Children Left Behind”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2014

Advocates to Protest Elimination of HIV Healthcare for Poor Women and Children: “No HIV+ Women and Children Left Behind”

Community advocates around the globe are astonished that the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget has eliminated Ryan White Part D, the only Ryan White program solely for US women, infants, children, youth, and families. With its array of family-centered services, Part D has been instrumental in retaining HIV+ individuals into care and aiding massive reduction of perinatal HIV transmission in the US; annually serving over 50,000 individuals in 40 states and 2 territories.

In hopes of convincing the President and Congress to reverse this decision, a global protest entitled #SaveRyanWhitePartDFlash Blog: “No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind,” is planned on April 10, 2014 as an all day event.

The date of the protest is dually significant. In addition to coinciding with National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), the numbers 4/10 represent the dollar amount of savings that was felt to be of greater value than the Part D program ($4 million), and the month that the elimination is slated to go into effect (the 2015 fiscal year begins in October – the 10th month of the year).

The #SaveRyanWhitePartD: No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind” Flash Blog protest on NYHAAD will be hosted by the Save Ryan White Part D Initiative, a consortium of community organizations in Texas and Florida. Save Ryan White Part D has mobilized the community with a Change.org petition that has obtained nearly 800 signatures and counting, a We the People petition, and a variety of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a public blog).

On NYHAAD, protestors from around the globe will participate in a peaceful Flash Blog protest, submitting hundreds of essays, poems, pictures, videos, and stories depicting the lives of the very community that stands to lose the most if this vital funding is cut (and its supporters). A multi-media project entitled, “We Exist” will also be unveiled. Additional protest events, such as rallies, prayer vigils, and a webinar, are being planned by consortium members.

We welcome more petition signatures as well as submissions for the Flash Blog!

Contacts
Morénike Onaiwu, SaveRyanWhitePartD@gmail.com
Leslie Raneri, esperanzadelalma@gmail.com
Janet Kitchen, janetkitchen1@aol.com
J.Raheem Harris, JRHarris.DallasAAG@gmail.com

Save Ryan White Part D Initiative Founding Agencies:
AdvocacyWithout Borders
Positively U (Janet Kitchen)
Living Without Limits, Living Large (Cecilia Smith-ross)
Texas Black Women’s Initiative;
Positive Playdates
3 Sisters in the Spirit Theater Ministries (SisterMama Sonya)
Dallas Awareness+Action Group (J Raheem Harris)
Campaign to End AIDS-Southwest
###

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Project Inform/Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be an effective way to reduce HIV transmission. 

Project Inform has created some educational booklets to provide information on PrEP, including one targeted to women. These booklets are FREE of charge, and are currently available in English and in Spanish. 

To order these free resources, visit the Project Inform order page on their website:

http://www.projectinform.org/orderprepbooklets/

Purple Day (for Epilepsy Awareness)!

Rock your purple today in support of epilepsy!

Though millions of people worldwide have epilepsy, the condition is often forgotten and/or misunderstood. Purple Day was established to change that.

"Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide.

On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness.

Last year, people in dozens of countries on all continents including Antarctica participated in Purple Day!"

Learn more about epilepsy and Purple Day: http://www.purpleday.org

Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition

Revolutionizing disability acceptance within faith communities!

The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC) exists to mobilize the religious community to speak out and take action on disability policy issues with Congress, the President and Administration, and society at large.

IDAC is a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of religious and religiously affiliated organizations whose core spiritual values affirm the rights and dignity of people with disabilities.

Member groups include groups representing Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and other religious beliefs.

While some religious institutions have promoted inclusion and disability acceptance, others have notoriously excluded and discriminated against disabled people. As such, IDAC is poised to make inroads that are very much needed.

Please visit this "Friendsday WEdnesday" page: 


http://www.aapd.com/what-we-do/interfaith/interfaith-disability-advocacy-coalition.html

A Spotlight on the community every WEdnesday!

Friendsday WEdnesday is a weekly feature celebrating all of the great things that WE (advocates around the world) are doing to improve our various communities. Usually it isn't practically midnight when they're posted!

We are not employed by nor formally affiliated with any of these groups nor are we receiving any compensation for promoting their work. We consider them to be "friends" because we share a common goal of using our resources for positive change. And we hope that you will be inspired by their passion!

When time permits, please take some time to learn a little more about the great organizations that we are featuring tonight!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Get Supported; Get Educated; Get Empowered; Get Busy; Get Involved."

"Get Supported; Get Educated; Get Empowered; Get Busy; Get Involved."

Texas-based non profit Living Without Limits, Living Large (LWLLL) is hosting a "Meet and Greet" in their NEW Montrose location! 

LWLLL offers several HIV support, education, and outreach programs focusing on (but, as the group is inclusive, not limited to) individuals of all ages within the heterosexual positive community.

There will be presentations and a planning session at the "Meet and Greet."


We will be there presenting about the elimination/consolidation of Ryan White Part D.

Friday, March 28, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Montrose Center
401 Branard Street Rm 114 (1st floor)
Houston, TX 77006

Questions? Call Cecilia at 832-545-5689

See you there!

Monday, March 24, 2014

TB and HIV

Today, March 24, 2014, is the World Tuberculosis Day.

The risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) is estimated to be between 12-20 times greater in people living with HIV among those without HIV infection.

In 2011 there were 8.7 million new cases of TB, of which 1.1 million were among people living with HIV." -IAS

Read more about TB/HIV here:

http://www.who.int/topics/tb/about_tb/en/

World TB Day!

Today (March 24th) is World TB Day! Help to stop TB! 

"Every 20 seconds someone dies from Tuberculosis. 

Every second a new person is infected.

Every day millions of patients receive TB treatment from trained volunteers.

Yet millions of people know nothing about TB.

Today, on World TB Day, you have the chance to make a difference and help put TB back on the agenda of all nations!

We have the funding and technology to eliminate TB. All we require is the will to make it so." -Stop TB

Please read more about World TB Day here, and also share with a friend!


http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Opportunity to Appear in CDC Photo HIV Campaign

Are you living with HIV?
Would you like to share your life experiences in a new CDC Campaign?

PURPOSE: Be a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) first campaign focused exclusively on people living with HIV. The campaign will feature people who have not let HIV stop them from doing the things they love or pursuing their hopes and dreams.

ELIGIBILITY: On behalf of the CDC, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is looking for people living with HIV to participate in a photo shoot, a video shoot, or both. Participants must be comfortable talking about their HIV status for this national campaign. Participants must also currently be receiving medical care and be on HIV treatment. Specifically, they are looking for of men and women ages 20-30 of any race, transgender women of any age/race, and Latinos/as of any age.

BENEFITS: In addition to being featured in a national campaign, participants will help encourage all people living with HIV to engage in care, remain in care, and adhere to HIV treatment in order to improve their overall health and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their partners.

COMPENSATION: All photo/video shoot participants will be given a $100 gift card for their participation in the photo/video shoot. All travel associated costs to Atlanta for the photo/video shoot will also be covered by the campaign.

CONTACT: Please email Recruitment Coordinator Dena Fisher at dfisher@air.org by Tuesday, March 25. Be sure to include a recent photo!

About NMAC
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) builds leadership within communities of color to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced this mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous publications and a website:http://www.nmac.org/.

For more information, contact NMAC directly at (202) 483-NMAC (6622) or communications@nmac.org.

Announcing the #SaveRyanWhitePartD Flashblog: No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind!

April 10, 2014 is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day! #SaveRyanWhitePartD will be commemorating that day with an international FLASHBLOG! All throughout the day posts, videos, stories, etc will be featured to express why it is so important NOT to cut Ryan White Part D!

Your help is needed! Whether you are HIV+, HIV affected, or neither, as MANY people as possible are desired to participate by sharing why this funding MUST be preserved.

Participation by those who LIVE IN A STATE funded by Ryan White is CRITICAL, especially if those who are HIV+ or affected. But even if not, please get involved to help us #saveRyanWhitePartD!!!

Need more details about how to participate? Message the page and/or email SaveRyanWhitePartD@gmail.com
#NYHAAD #HIV

Saturday, March 22, 2014

World Water Day!

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March (today!) as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Visit their page to learn how you can support efforts to increase the world's access to this life-sustaining resource!

http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/home/en/

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Dear Future Mom"

This time next year, the expectant mother to whom "Dear Future Mom" is addressed will get to celebrate on March 21 with her beloved child and with a large, supportive community that believes in the potential of individuals with Down Syndrome!

Watch this beautiful, powerful video addressed to a pregnant mother of a child with Down Syndrome:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju-q4OnBtNU

World Down Syndrome Day

"Join our cause to create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome on 21 March."

21 March 2014 will mark the 9th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day (and for the third year of official observation of the days by the United Nations). Each year, the voices of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. But there is still so much more we can do.

Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the World to choose your own themes, activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. The internet is a powerful tool for raising awareness and Down Syndrome International encourages people to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day through their own websites, blogs and social networking sites.

Celebrate our friends and family with Down Syndrome at: http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/

Thursday, March 20, 2014

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD) is a national mobilization effort held annually on March 20th designed to encourage Natives (American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV and AIDS. 

Despite only comprising a small percentage of the US population, Native populations are disproportionately represented in the amount of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Additionally, AIDS related illnesses are the 9th leading cause of death among Native adults in their 20's and 30's.

To learn more about how to commemorate this important day, or to find NNHAAD activities in your area, please visit:

http://www.nnhaad.org/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Empowering children to be who they are."

"Empowering children to be who they are."

Dab Garner is an activist, a 31 year survivor of HIV/AIDS, a public speaker, a blogger and an anti-bullying advocate.

Well-known in HIV circles, Garner created "Dab the AIDS bear" several years ago. Garner recognized the stigma and social isolation faced by children who were affected by or diagnosed with HIV, and wanted a tangible mechanism to support maternal/pediatric HIV. He also began hosting holiday events for HIV+ children with called Teddy Bear Touchdowns.

However, Garner's support for children goes beyond those living with HIV. A staunch opponent of bullying, Garner is the founder of the official "Support for Grayson"page. 

9 year old Grayson is a little boy who loves My Little Pony, and was recently in the news for being bullied at school because he carried a My Little Pony lunchbox on campus. Neither his school nor his district have adequately addressed the bullying that Grayson and his family have endured. 

Garner wants Grayson to know that there are far more caring people in this world than there are bullies. If you wish to do the same, please "like" the official Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SupportForGrayson

"Stop Acid Attacks!"

"Stop Acid Attacks!"

One year ago, a campaign with this name came together in India to address a common problem. Over 136 acid attacks had occurred in that year, affecting children, men and even animals. In some cases, people and animals died as a result of these attacks; in others, the survivors bore visible signs of the violent, horrifying attacks they had endured. Determined to put a stop to this violence, Stop Acid Attacks was born.

Stop Acid Attacks is comprised of individuals from all walks of life who are passionate about this issue, including on the most prominent activists against acid attacks in India, a young woman named Laxmi.

Attacked nine years ago by a scorned suitor when she was just a teenager, Laxmi has dedicated her life to supporting others who have endured attacks and advocating for justice for survivors. Just last week, she was honored by US First Lady Michelle Obama with the prestigious International Woman of Courage Award.

Laxmi, 23 years old, refuses to be defined as a victim or to be pitied, but she doesn't hide from the physical and emotional challenges that she and many other survivors of acid attacks face. Soon after receiving her award, she shared this poem in her native Hindi revealing her initial thoughts about her experience:

"You haven't thrown acid on my face; you threw it on my dreams. You didn't have love in your heart; you had acid in it."

Read more at: http://www.stopacidattacks.org/

Dancing for a Cause!

Dancing for a Cause (DFC) is a nonprofit organization uniting individuals of all ages under one common interest, that is, dance; and through this common interest creating a large student volunteering body to make a larger impact on the community, for the community, and for the world.

DFC supports a number of student-run clubs at different colleges, universities, and high schools, all of which are unique and tailored to their respective campuses. Each DFC club performs at various community functions and events in their local areas to raise funds and support a cause of their choice.

DFC is nondiscriminatory and its members can fund for ANY CAUSE that they choose. In addition to local events, nationally DFC hosts an annual event a traditional event called "BREAKOUT" in which all funds generated by the event are donated to St. Jude's Hospital for Cancer Research.

Visit this "Friendsday WEdnesday" page at:


http://dancingforacause.tumblr.com/

It's our 6th WEdnesday! :)

WE just love Wednesdays, because we get to post about unsung heroes (like many of you!) for "Friendsday WEdnesday!"

Advocacy Without Borders' Friendsday WEdnesday is a weekly feature celebrating all of the great things that WE (advocates around the world) are doing to improve our various communities. 

We are not employed by nor formally affiliated with any of these groups nor are we receiving any compensation for promoting their work. We consider them to be "friends" because we share a common goal of using our resources for positive change. And we hope that you will be inspired by their passion!

Keep checking throughout the day to learn more about these great individuals and organizations!

One love!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Please sign our petition to #SaveRyanWhitePartD for women, youth, & families living with HIV!

Please sign and share this petition we just created opposing the elimination of Ryan White Part D (serving women, children, infants, youth, teens, families, and caregivers):

https://www.change.org/petitions/1465465?just_created=true

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The End of Ryan White Part D?

In the proposed 2015 budget, the Ryan White Part D Program (that serves women, infants, children, youth, teens, and caregivers) is being eliminated and consolidated into another Ryan White Program (Part C, which focuses on early intervention and capacity building).

Part of the rationale for eliminating Part D is that 67% of Part D funded agencies also receive Part C, so presumably by consolidating the programs administrative costs will be reduced and more funds will be available.

However, what about the other 33% not dually funded? Are they guaranteed to receive Part C funds when they apply for them, or will their communities be left out?

With the number of females and youth (especially those from marginalized groups such as the trans community, people of color, immigrants, those from economically challenged areas, etc) being diagnosed each year with HIV, is this the right course of action to take? Slashing programs that serve these groups?

Please read what the AIDS Alliance has to say on this topic:

http://www.hivdent.org/_USPublicPolicy_/2014/USPP_PPBE032014.htm

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library

The Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library is a newly launched US non-profit organization. Its mission is to promote understanding, acceptance and inclusion for Autistic people. 

Dedicated to the ideas of neurodiversity, social justice, Autistic/Disabled Pride and disability rights, the library offers a variety of lending materials (books, film, media, etc) that reflect the wide and diverse spectrum of autism and intersectional identities to the communities of Stanwood and Camano Island, WA.

Please visit them on their Facebook page and show them some love!

https://www.facebook.com/EdWileyAutismAcceptance

Edited later to add:  Read about them in this great article: http://www.scnews.com/news/image_bfd1197c-aed6-11e3-9bbb-0017a43b2370.html

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered!




Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (S.A.B.E., or SABE) is the United State's national self-advocacy organization. Founded in 1990, SABE is comprised of a national board of regional representatives and members from every state in the US.

SABE's mission is to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and that they are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves; opportunities to make new friends; and to learn from their mistakes.


SABE's goals include helping to accomplish the following:
-eliminating institutions;
-affordable and accessible housing for all;
-national healthcare for all;
-equal employment opportunities for equal pay for all;
-flexible and available accessible transportation (airlines, trains, buses) for all;
-self-advocacy education and opportunities for all, etc.

Visit this Friendsday WEdnesday share at:

http://www.sabeusa.org/

Community Participatory Research!

"This is an era of participatory research. We do not want to do research on people with Down syndrome. We want to do research with people with Down syndrome." 
-Brian Skotko

Research Triangle Institute International (RTI International, or RTI) is one of the world’s leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Led by a staff of more than 3,700, RTI provides research and technical services to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries.

RTI specializes in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, international development, economic and social policy, energy and the environment, and laboratory testing and chemical analysis.

RTI is one of several research companies that see the value of communities being actively engaged in research that directly affects their lives and the lives of those with similar circumstances. Wall Street Journal recently profiled several cutting edge studies targeting individuals with intellectual disabilities, including a Fragile X study funded by the NIH that RTI is conducting.

The study, entitled "Decisional Capacity and Informed Consent in Fragile X Syndrome," focuses on new techniques to permit decision making in populations that might have differences in comprehending the "standard" types of informed consent forms.

To learn more about the potential impact of this intriguing study, please read the article:

http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304250204579431193819412078?mobile=y

Our 5th Friendsday!

Welcome to "Friendsday WEdnesday!" In the short time our page has existed, we've received so much encouragement and great feedback from the community. Thanks for your support!

Friendsday WEdnesday is a weekly feature celebrating all of the great things that WE (advocates around the world) are doing to improve our various communities. 

We are not employed by nor formally affiliated with any of these groups nor are we receiving any compensation for promoting their work. We consider them to be "friends" because we share a common goal of using our resources for positive change. And we hope that you will be inspired by their passion!

Keep checking throughout the day to learn more about these great individuals and organizations!

Monday, March 10, 2014

HIV Community Defeats Big Business!

There is an African proverb that I love, and often quote. It says, "When spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion." 

Today, the various spiderwebs cast by the community have caught their lion!

Earlier this year, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, the state's largest carrier, said it would begin rejecting checks from a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that for decades had helped low-income people with HIV and AIDS pay for both AIDS drugs and insurance premiums.

The community rose up in protest online and IRL. And today, three Louisiana insurers agreed on Monday to continue to accept payments from a federal program for low-income people with HIV/AIDS to cover their Obamacare insurance premiums.

Read about it here!

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA291RB20140310?irpc=932

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Arc: "It Takes a Team"

It might "take a village" to raise a child.  But for an adult, it "takes a team."

Many thanks to the Arc for promoting the importance of an efficient collaborative approach to better outcomes for individuals with disabilities.  Read this post about the role of teaming in self/consumer/community advocacy:

http://blog.thearc.org/2014/03/10/takes-team/

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

National Women's History Month!

Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history,
she learns she is worth less." 
– Myra Pollack Sadker


March is National Women's History Month! Every year, the National Women's History Project (NWHP) sets the theme and coordinates observances that allow us to reflect upon and celebrate the many significant contributions of women to greater society.

But when March has ended, the NWHP continues to promote the past and present achievements of women in all facets of life, including science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine. Creating avenues to positively impact the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women has been the NWHP's goal for all of its 30 years of existence.

With an emphasis on positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds, the NWHP has developed a nationwide constituency of teachers, students, parents, public employees, businesses, organizations, and individuals with whom it leads local and national efforts, consults, publishes, distributes, inspires, advises, and networks to provide important opportunities for sharing research and stories about women’s roles, struggles, and successes today and throughout our history.

How will you commemorate Women's History? Start by visiting this page: 


http://www.nwhp.org/

"Supporting the livelihoods of children" in Thailand!

"Supporting the livelihoods of children."

The Thai phrase "Ban Rom Sai" translates as which translates as 'under the Banyan Tree' and symbolizes a haven, a safe place. Ban Rom Sai, a Chiang Mai orphanage founded in 1999 for children who have lost their parents to due AIDS or have contracted HIV from a parent, wishes to be a haven for the 30 youth between the ages of 2-17 years old who reside there.

Ban Rom Sai strives to operate not as an orphanage, but instead a 'big family' that provides the children a healthy and balanced lifestyle--even though doing so is less profitable.

The building offers a spacious and green property with plenty of space for the children to play. All aspects of health are promoted, such as hygiene, physical activity, nutrition, and free provision of anti-retroviral and other medication.

Self-empowerment is also a priority at Ban Som Rai. The children are actively involved in discussing and making decisions about their lives, whether it is pursuing a hobby of their choosing (current offerings include painting, ceramics, photography, traditional Thai dance, theatrical performances, cloth dyeing, sewing, swimming, soccer, Aikido and computer programming) or selecting a career/educational path for their future.

Ban Rom Sai also reaches out to the surrounding community. Having recently constructed a library, computer room, and activity room, staff host free educational seminars about HIV/AIDS, and permit the village residents to use the computer room as well as reading and/or borrowing books from the library.

Check out this Friendsday WEdnesday website:

http://www.banromsai.org/

"A nonprofit that means business."

"A nonprofit that means business."

ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organization that has promoted broad-based economic growth, higher living standards and vibrant communities in low-income countries and emerging democracies in 30 countries for over 50 years.

The organization is an industry leader in value chain-oriented poverty alleviation, enterprise development, and food security in conflict-affected and fragile states.


ACDI/VOCA applies innovative approaches to building local capacity and providing sustainable solutions while ensuring that women, youth, indigenous populations and other marginalized groups have a voice in, and benefit from, their work.

Visit this Friendsday WEdnesday page at: 


http://www.acdivoca.org/

Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign

"Spread the Word to End the (R-) Word."

Today (March 5th) marks the 5th annual Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign. 

This ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International and other supporters intends to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. 

Since 2009, this youth-created campaign has engaged schools, the online community, organizations and individuals annually on the first Wednesday of March to "take the pledge."

Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. This campaign aims to address the minority slur “retard” and rally society to be conscious of its hurtful effects and eliminate its usage!

Will you take the pledge? Check out this Friendsday WEdnesday page today:


http://www.r-word.org/

4 WEdnesdays with friends across the globe!

Yay! It's WEdnesday, it's WEdnesday.  
"Friendsday WEdnesday!"

Friendsday WEdnesday is a weekly feature celebrating all of the great things that WE (advocates around the world) are doing to improve our various communities. 

We are not employed by nor formally affiliated with any of these groups nor are we receiving any compensation for promoting their work. We consider them to be "friends" because we share a common goal of using our resources for positive change. And we hope that you will be inspired by their passion!

Keep checking throughout the day to learn more about these great individuals and organizations!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Annual Disability Day of Mourning 2014

Quoted from the Advocacy Monitor:

"March 1 will serve as the 2014 Day of Mourning for the disability community. This annual tradition is a day set aside for our community and our allies to honor the memories of those who have been murdered at the hands of the people closest to us – family members and caregivers. This Saturday, March 1, we will gather in cities across the nation in order to seek justice for these crimes and prevent them from occurring again.

In the past five years, over forty people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents. In the year since our last vigil, our community has lost at least ten more victims. In January of 2014 alone, two more people with disabilities were lost in murder-suicides at the hands of their parents: Damien Veraghen, age nine, and Vincent Phan, age twenty four.

In a horrifying trend, parents and caregivers, those whom one should be able to trust most, are committing murder against people with disabilities in their care. In the media, these murders are being labeled justifiable due to the “burden” of the person’s care. The murderers are then given sympathy, and the victims are unfairly disregarded. The disability community is coming together to mourn those losses and bring awareness to these tragedies."

In addition to a virtual vigil that is available for anyone to participate in, numerous organizations, including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and various disability rights organizations are hosting events for this day as well. A list of participating sites can be found on the ASAN website.

http://www.advocacymonitor.com/day-of-mourning-2014-this-saturday-march-1/