Last weekend, GAIA Country Director Joyce Jere accepted the LIFE+ Award on behalf of GAIA funder and partner The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) at the 25th annual Life Ball in Vienna, Austria. Each year, the LIFE+ Award goes to projects that have excelled in a particularly innovative way in the fight against HIV/AIDS. ETAF was honored this year for its visionary foundational and on-going support of The GAIA Elizabeth Taylor Mobile Health Clinic Program, which is providing critical access to HIV services and combatting stigma in remote, rural Malawi.
Accompanied on stage by ETAF ambassador Paris Jackson (daughter of Michael, and god-daughter to the late Elizabeth Taylor), who has visited GAIA programs and seen their impact firsthand, Joyce was invited to give brief remarks. She used this global stage to focus on the role each individual plays in the fight against HIV and to rally listeners around a vision of a world without AIDS:
“The award that you have given us tonight is going to save a lot people through the organization that I work for, the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance. We are going to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS to the hard-to-reach areas. We are going to link people with HIV to healthcare services and to make sure that together with all of you here we make sure that we end HIV/AIDS.”
We’re incredibly grateful for our partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. We’re grateful for our leader, Joyce, and the entire staff in Malawi. We’re grateful to have a grassroot community of passionate supporters who believe in this work. Together, we’re keeping AIDS in the forefront and moving strides toward our goal.