Education Ministry holds Lesson for Life Competition to mark World AIDS Day
On November 29, 2005 the Ministry of Education, Youth & Culture hosted the grand finale of its World AIDS Day Campaign, ‘Lesson for Life’. This is in keeping with the Ministry’s commitment to strengthening Health and Family Life Education as a vehicle for youth development. This national event was held at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in the form of a visual and performing arts competition under the theme “Make the Promise.”
The Lesson for Life is a global campaign that aims to give children an opportunity to discuss the prevention and impact of HIV and AIDS. The campaign also encourages children to take action in their own communities to help fight the spread of HIV and support those who are affected. The Lesson is being promoted because children and youth are at the centre of the solution to the HIV epidemic.
The “Make the Promise” competition provided students with the opportunity to not only illustrate their learning, but also their commitment to action for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Students from primary, all-age and high schools island-wide expressed messages of HIV/AIDS prevention and anti-discrimination through such cultural media as Drama, Dub Poetry, Rap, Posters and Banners.
The Lesson for Life Campaign is being conducted in Jamaica by the HIV/AIDS Response Team of The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture. Providing local support for the campaign are the National AIDS Committee, the Jamaica Red Cross and the Jamaica country offices of UNICEF, UNESCO and UNAIDS. Internationally, the Campaign is being organized by the Global Movement for Children, a world-wide movement of organizations and people – including children – uniting efforts to build a world fit for children and who work in support of the World AIDS Campaign.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a massive and rapidly mounting disaster for children. In Jamaica, since 1982, approximately 10% of all AIDS cases have been reported among children under 19 years of age and as at 2003, more than 5,000 children were orphaned or made vulnerable as a result of the disease’s impact on the family.