RFFA (Rotarains For Fighting AIDS), Australia Chair PDG Fred Loneragan received the RFFA Hero award at the District 9700 change over in Leeton. Here is PDG Fred receiving the award from IPDG Ian Simpson. This award was made by the full board of RFFA and is in memory of the CEO of RFFA, Marion Bunch, whose son Jerry contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion.
Jerry was the catalyst behind Marion forming the RFFA Action Group to fight HIV/AIDS through Rotary.
“The annual District 9700 Change Over was held at the Leeton Returned Soldiers Club in conjunction with the Leeton Rotary Club’s 71st Change Over Dinner. Over 170 Rotarians and their partners were present at the function. It was a long night and the best was left to almost last which was the presentation to PDG Fred Loneragan with the RFFA Jerry’s Hero Award. DG Ian Simpson made the presentation and introduced John Glassford as a RFFA Board member and of course PDG Fred.
DG Ian read out a message from Marion Bunch which was warmly received by all present. The award is a beautiful crystal red AIDS ribbon, made in Atlanta, delivered to Bangkok and then to Leeton in ONE piece. Fred was very surprised and delighted to receive the award on behalf of the children of Africa. The dinner then concluded with the change over from IPDG Ian Simpson to incoming DG Greg Brown.”
Thursday night 16th February Wagga Wagga Rotary Club held a Mountains of the Moon evening with PDG Fred Loneragan and John Glassford as guest speakers for the night. It was a most enjoyable evening of fellowship and fun. Coolamon Rotary was well received along side our projects for RFFA in Africa.
Their Sargent at Arms was in fine form and we laughed a lot and he raised a bit of cash at the same time.
The presentation went very well and Fred and John gave a good account of the adventure in Uganda. The Nonceba Project was the emphasis so that the members of Wagga Wagga would consider supporting Hout Bay Rotary and this amazing project on a long term basis. The evening ended with a rousing Advance Australia Fair the Wagga Wagga Rotarians have some fine voices.
Left to Right: John Glassford, Susan Wingate-Pearse, Helen Maxwell, Rae Loneragan, Mark Janetzki, PDG Fred Loneragan, Mary Henley-Collopy and Wagga Wagga President Barry Francis.
The Mountains of the Moon Team going through rain forest. Hats off to the porters who carry 22 kgs with incredible strength up steep slopes of slippery rocks and mud. These are strong men who earn very little and are rewarded with tips from the climbers. I hope their lot improves as more people go to the Rwenzoris.
Summit day on Mount Margherita. Seven of us started out to climb this mountain for the children of Africa and two made it to the top. Here are some photos of the day Moses and Fred made it. Both Moses and Fred now want to join Rotary and I hope they will. Moses Kashumba and Fred Madden we salute you and thank you for taking the RFFA banner to the third highest mountain in Africa. It was tough and we are told that only 2-3% of those who attempt this climb achieve the summit.
One of the most heart wrenching places to visit in Cape Town is the Nonceba project. It is also a place of hope for the future of these young children who have been traumatised by the “virgin cure”. Please read the web sites below:
Here are some photographs taken during our visit there:
These children are orphans and are supported through Rotarians for Fighting AIDS Orphan Rescue programme. They gave us a remarkable insight into their lives and put on one heck of a show for us when we visited them in Nairobi on December 7th. Without a shadow of doubt the monies we are raising for their schooling is producing excellent results in this wretched slum of Mathare in Nairobi where they exist.
We have returned home from one heck of an adventure and I will write up several stories here over the Christmas break. It was without doubt the toughest thing that we have ever done. Two in our team of seven made it to the summit of Mount Margherita: Moses Kashumba from Tanzania and Fred Madden from Bathurst.
The number of people dying of AIDS-related causes fell to 1.8 million***** [1.6 million–1.9 million] in 2010, down from a peak of 2.2 million [2.1 million–2.5 million] in the mid-2000s. A total of 2.5 million deaths have been averted in low- and middle-income countries since 1995 due to antiretroviral therapy being introduced, according to new calculations by UNAIDS. Much of that success has come in the past two years when rapid scale-up of access to treatment occurred; in 2010 alone, 700 000 AIDS related deaths were averted. The proportion of women living with HIV has remained stable at 50% globally, although women are more affected in sub-Saharan Africa (59% of all people living with HIV) and the Caribbean (53%).
There were 2.7 million [2.4 million–2.9 million] new HIV infections in 2010, including an estimated 390 000 [340 000–450 000] among children. This was 15% less than in 2001, and 21% below the number of new infections at the peak of the epidemic in 1997. The number of people becoming infected with HIV is continuing to fall, in some countries more rapidly than others. HIV incidence has fallen in 33 countries, 22 of them in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic.
***** That is still around 5,100 people dying every single day of the year and the result more and more ORPHANS.
We are away in the morning and leave Sydney as a team tomorrow evening. Next stop Entebbe Airport and the Pearl of Africa.
We will do our best to keep you all posted via this web site, so stay tuned.
The reason we are doing this!
Moses is waiting for us!!!
Tell your friends tell everyone and especially tell those who may be able to make a difference to the lives of the children of Africa.
This is where we will be on World AIDS DAY December 1st 2011. This is not a picnic trek and it will be tough, not only do we have to worry about the mud and the constant rain we also have to look out for the altitude. The following story gives a good idea of what this trek/climb is all about. Some say it is like trekking the Kokoda Track with the altitude of Kilimanjaro. We climbed Kilimanjaro in 2007 for the AIDS orphans of Africa.
This story by Cam McLeay
I pulled my sleeping bag over my head and tightened the drawstring around my face. I have been living in Uganda for over 3-years and couldn’t remember the last time I had actually climbed into my sleeping bag, let alone pulled the hood over my head – we live on the equator and we are not used to feeling that cold.
The next thing I knew it was morning and light crept through the window of the Guy Yeoman hut. I ventured outside and mist swirled around in the valley below. A brisk wind dispelled any ideas I had of an early morning swim. Smoke poured from beneath the roof of the porters huts – a good sign that the fire was warm and the day had begun. Putting on the porridge seemed as good a start as any but not before that first cup of tea. On my way to the creek to fill the teapot a mostly grey streaked between the giant heather and I was able to make out clearly at the end of the streak a Ruwenzori Turaco. Even while half awake, I knew that this would cause your most enthusiastic twitcher to wet his pants with excitement. I stood still to watch this remarkable bird preen himself only meter’s away and reveled in the again in the magic of the Rwenzori and mystery that still surrounds the Mountains of the Moon.