Global Youth Organizations Fight AIDS
Last week saw the 27th International Youth Conference in Mexico City. The Mexican Youth Force and the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) were leaders of the conference, seeking to keep youth issues at the front of the AIDS movement.
The conference is a culmination of year-long efforts by various organizations, giving supporters and activists forums to voice opinions, learn from experts, and discuss possible solutions and diplomatic measures in an effort to solve the AIDS crisis. To learn more about what went on at the conference, the Mexican Youth Force had live blogging from Mexico City, which can be seen on their website. The organization also has a documentary whose trailer can be viewed here, which was put together after last year's AIDS conference in Toronto.
Many organizations at the conference worked to keep up their initiative of spreading education to those across the globe, who may not have money for travel. The UN MDG Youth Ambassador Corps set up a "youth hub" in an effort to connect youth not at the conference with those that were in attendance. Director Morillio Williams described the project: "We plan to share and discuss knowledge from the conference with young people in Suriname. We will use sessions through web casting and involve young people in discussions about the issues. We’re using the living room at the Family Planning Association of Suriname called St. Lobi. We’re turning their lobby into an interactive space." GYCA follows similar tactics year-round in an effort to spread education about the youth AIDS crisis. They hold month-long free e-courses, which are taught to a small group of concerned youth from around the world on such topics as "Project Management, Political Advocacy, and Grant Proposal Writing & Fundraising." Admission rates are 1 in 3, and the students leave each course with a number of skills and materials that can be spread easily to their peers.
In the monolith that is the global AIDS crisis, it is often difficult to determine which organizations need the most support, and which will put donor dollars to the best use. Youth-focused organizations like GYCA are great places for donor support, as they are small non-profits whose ideas spread far, and would reach even more if given greater resources.