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 Press release - International Candlelight Memorial Campaign (WVI)

 Press release date: 23.05.2005



International Candlelight Memorial Campaign

Turning remembrance into action

provided by World Vision Azerbaijan
On May,15, 2005, on Baku National Park

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Campaign, a program of the Global Health Council, is a project that encourages communities and individuals around the world to become more involved with HIV/AIDS work through participation in a worldwide memorial. The Memorial takes place every year on the third Sunday of May.

A sub-regional capacity building project on HIV/AIDS rolls-out in World Vision Azerbaijan since last year. In frames of this project we celebrated the International Candlelight Memorial Campaign - the vent that promotes discussion, education, awareness and action. The event took place on Baku Boulevard on 15th of May, 2005.

The purpose of event was to be a catalyst for communities around the world to begin talking about HIV/AIDS in their community.
The main goal of project was to remind to the country's population the situation on AIDS, remember who have been killed by AIDS, following stigma and discrimination and support those who have been infected and suffered from HIV/AIDS.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial had four main objectives:

· To honor the memory of those lost to AIDS
· To show support for those living with HIV and AIDS
· To raise community awareness and decrease stigma related to HIV/AIDS
· To mobilize community involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS

As event outcome the population of Baku and ones, who watched event by TV, are being informed and aware on HIV/AIDS impact on country, decrease stigma related on HIV/AIDS. Event creates a sense of global solidarity, and generates country/worldwide media attention. Publicity highlighted the importance of stronger integration of youth in HIV/AIDS prevention programs and to stress the idea of targeting the youth as partners rather than as mere recipients.


The event began on 15th of May, 2005 at 6 pm. Despite bad weather about 300 listeners were gathered on the square, opposite the Hand Games palace on Baku Boulevard. Participants were:


· International and local NGO's who had programs/projects on HIV/AIDS.
· The representatives of association of People Living with HIV/AIDS
· Representatives from government structure as schools, high schools, national AIDS center.
· Government representatives
· Media-workers
· Private sector
· Quests from US Embassy

The event began with introduction speech and Melekler children's chorus, and was following by performance of local jazz and pop musicians. Musical performances alternated by speeches of guests. Everyone performed on T-shirts, stamped with logo of WV on the sleeve and AIDS International Candlelight Memorial on the front. The event was following by flying the doves and disseminating of HIV/AIDS awareness brochures.

GIK - distribution following performances and provided by WV-Azerbaijan:

· T-shirts for Melekler - children chorus, pop-musicians, organization's representatives, with stamped logos on them - 53 items;
· School-sets for Melekler - children chorus - 43 items.

List of speakers and musicians showed in AGENDA.

Due to the bad weather lighting of candles provided on closed place. WV-Azerbaijan staff did it before performances on 5 pm at the World Vision Office.

Narmin Efendiyeva
HIV/AIDS Project Coordinator World Vision Azerbaijan

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