The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Henry Madzorera, on Monday launched an exhibition of artwork by children living with HIV at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare titled The Audacity of Hope.
The launch was held ahead of World Aids Day, which was commemorated yesterday under the theme “Universal Access to HIV and Aids Treatment, Prevention and Care”. Madzorera said it was important for children to be empowered through, among other things, access to a platform to speak and be heard.
“This exhibition demonstrates clearly that children with HIV need to be seen and heard.
“The time has come to empower our children who are living with HIV,” he said, adding that there were many things adults could do to assist.
Children living with HIV from Africaid showcased their talents in music and dance performances, together with girls from Arundel School Choir and the Dance Foundation Course students.
The exhibition, which will run until the end of this month, was developed by Africaid, a local NGO, in partnership with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and local professional artists, with support from the National Aids Council, Unicef and Children First.
The Audacity of Hope exhibition displays the children’s own artwork through which they share their story of how access to treatment, care and support has affected their lives.
The exhibition aims to strengthen people’s understanding and awareness of the needs of HIV positive children and adolescents in Zimbabwe and to advocate for continued access to treatment, care and support for themselves and their peers.
Africaid director Nicola Willis said the exhibition was a result of the children’s determination to get their messages out.
Africaid is a local private voluntary organisation, established in 2004 and based in Harare.
Over the last six years, it has developed the Zvandiri Model, a community model of care and support for HIV positive children and adolescents in which psycho-social support is integrated within health service delivery at community level.