Recognition for Pacific Health Activist
‘We deliver our message through movement games, and when we ask our participants what they learnt, it is often the same principals they would find on the basketball court’. The strategy of ‘learning through play’ is used as information is given to the attendees whilst a ball is being thrown around – the ball representing the HIV virus.
STOP HIV had the honour of making the shortlist for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in London, July 23-25 of this year.While it did not take out the top prize, the recognition, exposure and potential to take the campaign to the international stage was a huge achievement for a program that is only in its first quadrennial.
The shortlisting ensures that STOP HIV will be held in permanent esteem in its field, finishing in the top 10per cent of the 300 entered worldwide. In a competitive field where funding is quintessential to the longevity of an organisation, the chance to make contacts and feature before sponsors such as UNICEF, Barclays and Time is invaluable.
The qualify for the award, organisations must adhere to the following guidelines:
** Have a structure in place that uses sport as a vehicle to drive positive social transformation.
** Create significant impact by changing the lives of communities or individuals, demonstrating awareness of an issue and creating long-term benefits.
** Have a plan proving the program to be financially sound and sustainable.
** Can be shared and show opportunity for collaboration.
Humbled by the whole experience, Margaret is forever looking to expand the project. With her at the Youth Pacific Basketball Championships is Jamie Toro, who works at a television and radio station in Fiji, and has been certified as a Peer Leader for the program.
This next generation will look to spread the message of protections, as the ABCD of HIV prevention (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condom usage and Doing other activities) is encouraged. Working with age-specific material, STOP HIV also adapts the movement games to these self-grooming topics when younger groups are being addressed.
Eastgate hopes that through the growing expansion of the organisation, her program will continue to gain recognition – and most importantly, change the behaviour in all that complete her workshop.
By Laura Mock, The Reporters' Academy