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Hi comrade. Hope this letter will find you a good health. Just wanted to tell you that on December 1, in Kinshasa, we will be marching from Maison communal de Kimbanseke towards… a positive future.

Five organizations representing those who have suffered the most from HIV join forces to speak out, celebrate and inform. Women and men from the “we can end all forms of violence against women” campaign will be in their yellow t-shirts. Do you remember those? The very same t-shirt that states “change begins with me”.

The marchers represent women and men from all walks of life committed to ending domestic violence that is so rampant in DRC because it is accepted by society. Did you know that each campaign member has to recruit ten others changemakers?

So those who have not yet met their commitment (to bring ten people to the campaign) will have a great opportunity to talk to people about how they were able to change. How in their homes, they help the women with household tasks to allow them to take off some quality time to learn, to relax and to just let their energy blossom.

The youth will also be there. RAJECOPOD, an umbrella organization of more than 60 teenagers and youth, will be there. It’s the very same organization you’ve heard about that goes from place to place to do peer education around HIV issues. This year they succeeded in taking on board one of the religious youth of the town: the neo apostolic. I know you will say that it is sexy for all the churches to open their churches to the HIV messages as did the pope but is it not something we should celebrate? Our effort convinces them that son of god is also vulnerable to HIV but it is inevitable.

Young women will also be there. With their feminist t-shirts and their banners saying how they are proud of the new law protecting people living with HIV/AIDS. They will insist on the importance of communication rights to protect from future infections, to educate the sexually active youth and to allow more freedom of expression around sexuality issues. You know young feminists are fighting the bill introduced by an evangelical bishop who has a seat in parliament now and wants to send to jail all those found in same-sex relationships. He wants to ban all stories, all images and sounds talking about same-sex relationships. Young women have not forgotten that people fighting against HIV are almost the only ones to stand beside them. So they will be there.

So dear comrade, if you have time, join us in this great celebration of the 2010 World AIDS day. We will be marching toward a positive future.

This blog was written by a member of APC WNSP’s Take Back the Tech! campaign to eliminate violence against women, which is part of the our efforts towards gender equality and the Milennium Development Goal 3.

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Françoise Mukuku, si jeunesse savait,

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