More than 1,000 community members, wind farm, LoveLife, local community-based organisations and government representatives came together on World Aids Day, 1 December 2016, to join hands – quite literally – with Kouga Wind Farm.
They placed their painted red handprints on a giant 100m white ribbon, which they held high during a walk through the streets of the community. This was in the hope of creating a world record for the longest personalised human Aids Day ribbon – an attempt which will be now be checked by the relevant authorities.
The human awareness ribbon marked the culmination of an intensive educational drive that started with free HIV/Aids testing and clinic consultations for the public, and included presentations on the importance of healthy eating for those living with HIV. To this end, the principal of Lungiso High School received donations of seeds and garden implements to establish a school food garden.
Also on the programme was a short play and a talk by LoveLife on charting the way forward for “getting to zero” in terms of new infections, Aids-related deaths and discrimination.
Giving the audience a voice and an opportunity to raise their own issues was a key component of the day, with LoveLife’s Themba Maseti leading a community dialogue and feedback session.
Aids is one of the major social challenges facing the youth of South Africa and it is critical for the wind farm to play a constructive role in overcoming the disease by tapping into existing community structures and supporting those leaders committed to bringing about change.