Posts tagged Washington DC
Posts tagged Washington DC
Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C.
Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women.
The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.
Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas
In 2012, the metro area comprising Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado, is the leading producer of Peace Corps Volunteers per capita with 14.7 per 100,000 residents, ousting the 2011 and 2010 per capita leader, Missoula, Montana. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area produced the greatest number of Volunteers with 345 in 2012, followed by the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area with 338 Volunteers and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area with 331 Volunteers.
How did YOUR hometown fair?
San Dancers from Ghanzi, Botswana, represent Peace Corps at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The Festival starts this Thursday and we hope to see you there! For those of you who can’t make it to DC, we’ll be blogging about all the great activities here on Tumblr.
Peace Corps/Peru Trainees prepare to depart for service from Washington, DC - June 10, 2011