Today is the second day of AIDS Walk Africa, an effort to raise awareness -and about 250-thousand dollars to support the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The walk is taking place in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. Participants have pledged to raise about 10-thousand dollars each through private donations and corporate sponsorship.
One of those invited by the foundation to take part is Kimberly Locke, who gained fame from her appearance on the popular American Idol TV program. Each day, Kimberly tells us about her experiences in AIDS Walk Africa. Today, she spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua from the town of Futululu, where the AIDS walk actually begins. Kimberly says, “The weather has been wet and cold.”
She says she’s met teenagers who have put on a play about AIDS awareness. “When you talk to them,” she says, “their spirits are high in the midst of everything that’s going on. I find that it would be difficult sometimes to constantly be in this situation that is overwhelming. Sometimes you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. But they understand very much the importance of just making a little bit of change.” Kimberly also met an HIV-positive woman whose baby died of AIDS at five months of age.
Earlier Wednesday, Kimberly visited St. Anne’s Clinic on the grounds of the 77-year-old St. Mary’s Mission Hospital. The Glaser Foundation says the hospital “provides services to about 750, 000 people with a focus on HIV/AIDS.
Thursday, the AIDS Walk travels to the communities of Gunjaneni and Esiyembeni.