Thursday, November 10, 2005

Race Against Time

I'm currently listening to Stephen Lewis' Massey Lecture series, online. It airs at 9PM EST, however, listening online means you can tune in to Whitehorse at 11PM EST and still hear the 9PM broadcast. As I've mentioned before, Lewis is quite passionate about his topic of fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Tonight's lecture focused on poverty reduction and the free access to education for all children. The world has again and again made promises to provide free education to children of the world -- especially those children of Africa. Access to free education means access to schools -- which isn't just about education, but also about a meal a day, stability and care. Statistics from the World Bank has shown that any education leads a reduction of HIV/AIDS infection. It's ironic then that it's the World Bank that had attached the requirement of school fees in order for third world countries to receive loans. School fees that are intended to be a deterrent to allowing all children to gain an education. Lewis laid into officials of the UN, first world governments, and especially diplomats that don't care. He describes the response of the bureaucracy as, "You want action, wait. There's something to read." He describes the world's response to Africa as neocolonialism, where the relationship between supplicants and benefactors -- with the benefactors holding the power.

He ended his lecture wondering aloud of what the world is losing in the potential of the children that are not receiving an education; in the children who succumb to HIV/AIDS.

It's an answer we'll never know. But I've got to think that for the price of educating the world's children, the potential returns have got to more than surpass the costs.

1 comment:

  1. Have had HIV since 1989, AIDS since March of this year (now taking Truvada and Sustiva). Things are going well, but live in a small community where it's hard to meet other POZ (but there is always online HIV+ chat sites.

    Don't forget that December 1st is World AIDS Day!

    Thanks, DaveyBoy.


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