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Danny Glover visits HIV/AIDS youth outreach centre in Jamaica

© UNICEF video
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover on his recent trip to Jamaica.
By John Allison

NEW YORK, USA, 18 May 2006 – After giving a presentation on the final day of the second annual Conference on Caribbean Philanthropy recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover could have simply flown home.

Instead, he remained to meet with members of two extraordinary organizations that are making an impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with support from UNICEF. 

Help from ‘Children of Faith’

Mr. Glover first met with Executive Director Gloria Meredith of Children of Faith, which provides children and young people affected by AIDS the tools they need to survive and thrive. The programme is active in five parishes in Jamaica, with around 450 children enrolled.

“They are in need of food, textbooks, uniforms for school and sometimes a safe haven when they are in trouble,” said Ms. Meredith.

© UNICEF video
Executive Director Gloria Meredith of Children of Faith, a UNICEF-supported programme serving children affected by AIDS, speaks with Danny Glover.
Children of Faith also offers young people psychotherapy, counselling, money-management skills and, for some of the older youths who may already have children themselves, parenting guidance.

Advising youth on prevention

Accompanying Mr. Glover on his visit to Montego Bay was Kerrel McKay, founder of another organization for young people, the Portland Parish Youth Committee, a branch of the UNICEF-supported Portland AIDS Committee.

Ms. McKay, 20, has been a tireless advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS ever since her father died of the disease six years ago. Mr. Glover witnessed her commitment firsthand in downtown Montego Bay’s Sam Sharpe Square, where she and her group had set up a booth.

© UNICEF video
Danny Glover talking with Jamaican HIV/AIDS youth activist Kerrel McKay.
There they handed out information and engaged young people in an open and frank discussion about HIV/AIDS, including demonstrating proper condom use.

“Here we have an epidemic that is wiping away our young people,” said Ms. McKay, “and so today I take the opportunity to say to our young people, if you must play the game of sex, play it safe.”

Mr. Glover was clearly impressed with not only their approach, but their dedication to halting the spread of HIV.

“The fact that they keep it out in the open – with people who talk about it in a very honest and a very coherent and a very informed and intelligent way – provides us with an opportunity to reduce the prevalence rates,” he said.




18 May 2006:
UNICEF Correspondent John Allison reports on UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Glover’s visit to two HIV/AIDS youth programmes in Jamaica.
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