On World Aids Day last year, Bono turned the famous Sydney Opera House red to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. He was joined by stars like Penelope Cruz, who were pictured at iconic buildings which were lit up red for the night.
While the stars were busy raising global awareness, groups of individuals across Northern Ireland were taking action. In my church we hosted ‘A night at the movies’ in Strandtown cinema and raised £350 by showing Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
‘We had a great night – live music as people arrived, complimentary ice cream, an inspirational film and we helped Tearfund bring hope to people living with HIV and AIDS’ says organiser Julie Magowan.
Tearfund supports 120 HIV and AIDS programmes around the world, which seek to stop the spread of the disease and support those affected by it.
One person we‘ve been able to help is 13 year old Rachel - one of over a million children who have been orphaned by AIDS in Uganda. Not only has Rachel had to cope with losing both parents, but she has been left to bring up her 6 younger brothers and sisters. Every day she cooks, cleans, plants food and gets the children out to school. Aged 13 she’s mother to 6!
While we can’t support Rachel’s parents, we have been able to help Rachel’s local church to be a lifeline for her. Pastor Noah and his team help Rachel cook, clean and plant food. They provide basic needs like soap and food and provide a local mother to sleep over with the children every night so they feel safe.
‘If I didn’t I didn’t have the pastor, it would be terrible for me. When my parents died, I realised I’m left alone and as the eldest I have to look after the younger ones’ says Rachel.
This year, our vision is to inspire 10 churches to support families like Rachel’s by hosting ‘A night at the movies’ around World Aids Day in December.
We’ve 5 churches who have already committed to a screening. So we’d love you to join us and help us make it 10! If you’re interested, come along to our movie night info session on Thursday 15th September, 8 – 9.30 pm, venue to be confirmed. We’ll give you all in the info about how to run a screening - we’ve even got Julie coming along to give us her top tips on how she ran hers.
You can book your place, with no obligation about actually running a screening, by emailing me :- email@example.com or calling 07748156911.