In the Past

WALK THE TRUTH

Walk The Truth was a fashion charity campaign created by AC-AF’s Founder Gita Jaffe, and Designer/Publicist Shaun Marq that took place as the closing inaugural gala for Ottawa Fashion Week 2011. The aim of the gala was to unite Canada’s fashion elite in support of children and youth who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. Selected designers were chosen to create a one of a kind piece for the runway which were then auctioned off. All the sales from the garments and tickets went to support AC-AF’s diverse programming.

The concept of the show, was based around one of AC-AF’s ongoing art projects entitled “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say… about HIV and AIDS”. With this project, youth around the world are asked to write a short prose about what HIV and AIDS means to them. Several themes were identified from the children’s responses. Designers were given a choice of which theme to base the design of their garment around. The themes were:

- Walk for life
- Walk for love
- Walk for children
- Walk for death
- Walk for hope

PREVIOUS ART PROJECTS

Throughout the years since its inception, AC-AF has had a variety of different arts projects, as part of its programming, addressing the different aspects of youth, HIV and AIDS. Some of the art projects previously undertaken have included:

- Say What You Mean, Mean What you Say…

The “Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say” campaign was created to encourage people to speak openly and honestly about HIV and AIDS. In 25 words or less, people worldwide took pictures and gave us their thoughts about the disease. The photos and statements given were put on display in Canada and Tanzania to inspire and promote honest discussions about HIV and its impact. These discussions were created as a means to open up to the reality we live in because only by doing so can we create a brighter future. This campaign was featured in the 2009 Contact festival

- Scrapbook

” What would it take to make your generation the last to be born under the threat of HIV and AIDS?”. This question was posed as a means of not only giving participant’s the opportunity to create a change within their local and global community but also provided a reflection of their hopes and aspirations for the future. To emphasize the importance of creativity in this activity, participants were allowed to draw, write, use poetry, newspaper clippings or any other materials they thought were necessary to get their message across to the reader.

- Photo Competition

In Tanzania, children and youth from local primary and secondary were provided with digital cameras. They were each allowed to take 5 photographs with a short description that answers the question, ” The future of AIDS, what do you see?”. The pictures taken gave the viewer a look into the children and youth’s thoughts on the different impacts that HIV and AIDS may have on their communities.

WORLD AIDS DAY

2012:

Canada: For its second year, AC-AF took to different Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Stations to show solidarity for those living with HIV and AIDS and to raise awareness about the local and global impact of HIV and AIDS. Red Ribbons were given away for donations and through the generous support of TTC commuters, AC-AF was able to raise over $9000 to provide the support needed for its programming. To know more about what took place, check out our World AIDS Day Canada Blog post.


Tanzania: This year’s World AIDS Day event in Tanzania saw a different approach being taken. This year’s event consisted of a soccer tournament held for both boys and girls from the different secondary schools we work with. The aim of the tournament was to instil the spirit of cooperation, unity, and awareness in issues concerning HIV and AIDS. The importance of gender equality was also emphasized through the strong presence of the community for both the boys and girls tournaments. Our World AIDS Day Tanzania Blog post has more information on the activities that took place throughout the day.

2011:

World AIDS Day 2011Canada: AC-AF took to the streets of Toronto to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and the work of AC-AF by selling Red Ribbons for donations to commuters in Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) stations.  The day was a great success with an estimated audience of over 100,000 people with over $7,000 raised for AC-AF programmes.

Tanzania: AC-AF gathered over 500 students from schools in Dar es Salaam for friendly competitions all dedicated to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS (and the effects upon the community) and focused upon the expression of youth voices.  A day of singing, essay writing, and poster competitions was rounded off by AC-AF’s first ever student fashion show.

2010: 

Canada: With an information booth in North York City Centre, the AC-AF team raised awareness about HIV and AIDS by handing out red ribbons, inviting people to share their thoughts by decorating a large banner, and launching the AC-AF Make an Impact: Presents with Presence campaign.

Tanzania: With over 550 children and youth present from local primary and secondary schools, AC-AF held its third annual event in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam with competitions featuring plays and Ngonjera (a local form of poetry). Competitions focused upon prevention of transmission of HIV.

2009:

World AIDS DayCanada: AC-AF team members invited friends, family and the public to take part in an evening of music and dance at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto with proceeds from ticket sales going towards AC-AF programming.  Performances were given by the Arabesque Dance Company, Ritmo Flamenco, Baila Boogaloo, and hip hopper’s DLM, with spoken poetry by David Delisca.

Tanzania: The theme “Light in Action” shown a spotlight on the incredible talent within the communities and schools AC-AF works with in Dar es Salaam, with youth choirs composing and performing songs about HIV and AIDS at an event in Ubungo. The day also provided the 550 children and youth present with the opportunity to see some of the work through u+me=we carried out in 2009 with exhibits and presentation of prizes for the 2009 AC-AF Photograph Competitions.

2008:

Tanzania: AC-AF’s Tanzanian office brought together 300 children and youth from surrounding schools along with a number of local community leaders and politicians to attend a day of awareness for HIV and AIDS at Ubungo National Housing Primary School.  With Ubungo’s Member of Parliament as Guest of Honour, the children were entertained with a game show, activities on HIV and AIDS, and unveiling of the schools essay writing competitions.

2007:

Based out of one of our partner schools in Canada, AC-AF brought a number of students together to examine the different entries from the annual photo competition, and to discuss thoughts on “what can we do now”?  Through Project Stitch (originally a joint adventure with AIDS Vancouver and Youth Co AIDS Society), a Digital AIDS Quilt was unveiled and a real time internet chat between youth in Toronto, Vancouver, Tanzania and Cameroon was held.

If you would like to know more about what AC-AF has been doing since 2006, please read Gita Jaffe’s ( the former Executive Director’s ) 2012 Transition Report 

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