I started this blog because I dared myself to. My "blog dare" is part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation's A Dare to Remember Campaign.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation (http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/) seeks to "turn the tide" of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa by supporting small local organisations working in communities in Africa. These groups provide counselling and education about HIV prevention and treatment; distribute food and medication; reach the sick through home-based health care; help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren. The Stephen Lewis Foundation has funded over 300 projects in 15 countries since 2003.
Statistics don't tell the whole story, but of the 33 million people worldwide living with HIV, 22 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 1 in 20 adults in Africa are living with HIV, and about 15 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. While I was working in Africa I lost several colleagues -- professionals with promising careers and young families -- to HIV/AIDS.
A Dare to Remember asks ordinary Canadians to dare to do acts of courage, ingenuity, determination or strength to show their solidarity with Africans facing HIV/AIDS, to create a conversation about HIV/AIDS, and to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation's work.
You can't call my blogging an act of courage, but the A Dare To Remember Campaign got me thinking about how infrequently we in Canada hear the voices of Africans who can help us understand life on the continent. I decided that this blog would feature the work of African writers, artists, scholars and commentators whose perspectives can enrich our knowledge and challenge our perceptions about "Africa". I'll be blogging here daily for at least a month, and reading several books that I'll post about as well.
You can contribute financially to the campaign through my Dare page at http://www.adaretoremember.com/ (go to "Find or Sponsor Someone" and search for my name). And please come back to this site and read and comment on what you read.
Thanks, and hope you come back soon!