PROJECT HOPE: ACAN 11th ANNIVERSARY

anguillian
By anguillian December 18, 2017 10:04 Updated

 

 

 

 

The name ACAN was chosen by Dr. Linda Banks who was also a part of the development of the mission and the vision of the organization. On this day we celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Anguilla Community Action Network – ACAN. It is now more than a decade since The Anguilla Community Action Network (ACAN) was formed by Mr. John C. Lake. This is a great accomplishment for an organization of such a nature. Today, thanks to the combined and coordinated efforts of all partners involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, ACAN still stands as the only non-profit, non-governmental organisation in Anguilla whose main mandate is to support persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

11 years and we are proud to say that ACAN has achieved many of the objectives outlined in our mission and vision. Among these are the five-year strategic plan, the completion of Project HOPE, acquiring funding from the Governor’s Office, partnerships with the Ministry of Health, Gender Affairs, AIDES St Martin, St Marteen AIDS Foundation, Antigua and the formation of a Youth Arm in the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. Over the past years, the Anguilla Community Action Network and AIDES St Martin, St Marteen AIDS Foundation have collaborated on a number of activities in both St Martin and Anguilla. Members of ACAN travelled to St Martin to observe their procedures for HIV rapid testing and counselling and their community outreach procedures. In Anguilla, the organizations collaborated to host condom showers, an outreach programme during the August Monday celebrations and the first joint Youth Consultation between Dutch and French St Martin and Anguilla. ACAN currently has two members certified in HIV testing and counselling and one member who is CPR certified.

As we look forward to the future, ACAN plans to focus on sustaining partnership formed with both governmental and non-governmental organizations. We intend to complete more community outreach programmes with the goal of educating individuals about ways to prevent HIV and other STIs. Our main focus will be the development of the Anguilla Community Action Network Youth Arm. This section of the organization currently has 20 members – 17 students from the Albena Lake Comprehensive School and 3 coordinators. The vision is “To inspire change in the way children with HIV/AIDS and other STIs are treated, and to achieve immediate and long lasting change in their lives”. The mission is “Striving to build a community in which every child has a basic right to survival, education, protection, development and participation”. ACAN Youth Arm aims to help young people in Anguilla reach their full potential in life and engage in responsible sexual behaviours that will prevent them from being affected by HIV/AIDS, STIs and teenage pregnancy. All our projects seek to tackle social problems young people often encounter. ACAN Youth Arm strives to provide intervention for young adults before they become engaged in negative behaviours and redirect those who are already involved these behaviours.

Currently both sections of the Anguilla Community Action Network organization are faced with the major challenge of funding. This has and still is preventing us from accomplishing many of our goals. We are not daunted by this. We still intend to continue working as the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STIs remains a priority for ACAN. There are still too many person infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS and many other STIs. There are too many new persons being infected every day. None of us should just stand by and believe that it is not our concern because it does not affect us. We all must understand that we live in a global community and too many persons are being infected and too many still die of AIDS-related illnesses. With the continued support of governmental and non-governmental organizations we, the members of the Anguilla Community Action Network and the Anguilla Community Action Network Youth Arm, intend to have a lasting impact by ensuring that laws are enacted and communities are mobilised to support infected and affected persons by HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

-Contributed

anguillian
By anguillian December 18, 2017 10:04 Updated

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