20th of August 2014
Are you ready for some entertainment? Are you ready for a show? Grab a needle and scissors and make your best Freddie Mercury costume! But don't feel under pressure: your Freddie look should be ready for his birthday anniversary on September 5, so you still have a bit of time.   The Freddie For A Day is an initiative of The Mercury Phoenix Trust (MPT), which was founded by famous guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and Queen manager Jim Beach in commemoration of the legendary Freddie Mercury, who died from AIDS. The Mercury Phoenix Trust is funding charities fighting against AIDS all around the world and in the last 21 years the Trust has given away over 15 million dollars in the lead singer's name, funding over 700 projects. MPT started with the 'Freddie For A Day' initiative four years ago, to raise funds in a fun way. Every September 5th they encourage people to dress in Freddie Mercury's style to raise awareness and of course if they will collect some money for charity by selling iconic moustaches for instance -that will be great bonus. Or you can ask family and friends to donate money for your courageous Freddie attempt! You can wear just the moustache, or you can use all your creativity and sew an original costume in Mercury's style. Or maybe you prefer to shop for a ready made look here:www.queenonlinestore.com/Mercury-Phoenix-Trust/ This year it can paid off for you - the best picture uploaded on Twitter with hashtag #areyoureadytofreddie until September 5 can win a 'Queen Live At The Rainbow' Super Deluxe Box Set! Are you ready to Freddie? P.S. Need some inspiration? Diana Moseley, Freddie's personal costume designer, has written a few tips on how to style a Freddie costume. Check it out here: www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com/site/getinvolved      
19th of August 2014
Seven year old Charlotte Benjamin pointed out a major fault that Lego made with its dolls: "I don't like that there are more Lego boys and hardly any Lego girls," she wrote in the letter that she sent to The Lego Group earlier this year. "Today I went to a store and saw Lego in two sections, the pink (girls) and the blue (boys). All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach and shop and they didn't have a job, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs - they even swam with sharks! I want you to make more Lego girls and let them go on adventures and have fun, OK!?!"   The company had a gratifying response for Charlotte: at the beginning of August the toymaker came out with its first model set featuring female scientists. The three tiny plastic figures - a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist- were designed by a real scientist, geoscientist Ellen Kooijman, who created a research institute on a Lego Idea Platform which allows anyone to share their concepts and collect online supporters. Women scientists toys pleased young girls, but also teachers and psychologists, who believe that toys like this could help young girls to imagine themselves in that role and that these toys can convince more women to choose the field of science in the future.  
18th of August 2014
Young designer Anna Marešová created a set of sex toys which are so beautiful that you won't hide them in your bedside table's drawer. These sex toys, which are perfect combination of quality material, hygiene, function and purity of form were even awarded with the National Prize of Students Design. The final products were created after a long discussion with experts in the fields of gynaecology, sexuology, technology and gender studies and are also based on a lot of questionnaires - in which she found out that most people want a stylish supplement instead of trashy objects. For now you can buy love balls, which can be used for pleasure but also for training the pelvic floor muscles. This intimate fitness equipment is produced in two colours - pure white and passionate red.Vibrators from this series should become available next year and for the love egg we have to wait two years. The Design Prize for her sex toys wasn't Anna's first success: she won the same prize 2 years ago for her draft of a new Prague Tram. She's a really versatile girl!  
14th of August 2014
I went on my first vacation I before I was born, when my mother was sixth months pregnant. Since I was three years old, my parents started to discover my beautiful country together with me. Thanks to all the travel in my childhood traveling became an important part of my life and I am missing something in my life if I don't travel.   When I got to know my country well, I started to travel abroad. On the day of my 18th birthday I promised myself that before I turn 50 I will visit at least 50 countries. Now I am in the middle of my quest, and it's going really slow. Because I must admit that I'm not a fan of that quick-picture/look-at-them-at-home touristic thing. No, I think that the most amazing way of traveling is to stay in one country for at least two months and explore the mentality, customs, tradition and try their way of life. An opportunity to explore the world like this is offered by the Erasmus + program of the European Union. They have several projects of nonformal education, so you can be sure that except nice memories you will bring back something extra. One of their most famous programs is European Voluntary Service(EVS). You can choose your EVS according to your preferences and future plans. Would you rather learn English in a Turkish kindergarten, organize cultural events in Armenia or work on a farm in the Netherlands? Or maybe you would like to become another volunteer at DAA in Antwerp, Belgium?   What's more, you can be sure that if you say to locals that you're not a tourist but a volunteer in their country, they will treat you like a member of their family. Volunteering is not just about altruism, you can be sure that you will get much more back.  
13th of August 2014
For most children who behave a little bit different than their peers, summer camps are not their dream holiday but more like a nightmare. Only few summer camps offer an environment for non gender-conforming children, where no one has to look over their shoulders and everybody is free to express themselves. One of the most famous camps of this type is a summer camp known under the nickname "You are you", which became famous thanks to New York photographer Lindsay Morris who captured the children with images of their self-expression.   The camp, founded by parents, is so informal that it moves from one part of the US to another, depending on where the parents can rent a space for it. It's not just for boys from 3 years old and up, but also for their parents and siblings, who help to create a friendly environment. The main event of this camp is the Talent Show Night, for which some children practice all year long and a Fancy Night, for which they can dress up any way they like, even in high heels, an evening gown, full make-up and anything else in 'girlish' colours and glitter.   Getting the exact number of kids of a non conforming gender is not easy; according to the education and advocacy group 'Gender Spectrum' 1 in 500 children is significantly gender nonconforming or transgender.   It doesn't matter how these kids will identify themselves in the future, what matters is that they can find a place where they feel free to express themselves right now. Photo: Lindsay Morris
12th of August 2014
Did you miss Antwerp Pride? If so, you can be sure that you missed one of the best open-air parties in the city. Those who were there know what I'm talking about. It was huge, it was friendly and it was very colourful. The LGBT community definitely showed its best side! The main event of the rainbow week, the Antwerp Pride Parade, started next to Waterpoort in Antwerp's trendy South district and ended in front of the city's prettiest castle, Het Steen. On this route many, many people showed up to share their support, including Jewish and Arab families, senior couples and even Antwerp's vice mayor Philip Heylen, who walked in front of the parade, helping to carry the huge rainbow flag.     A sign that the City of Antwerp is open-minded wasn't just the attendance of its vice mayor on this event - the Antwerp police even took their part in the parade - and in doing so, broke the links between police and bullying of the LGBT community, that is still such a huge issue in many countries all over the world. In their 'Rainbows Cops' T-shirts and 'Diversiteit' police truck they were really present.           After the parade, different parties all over town continued until the early morning. If you missed this event, there are still more Pride events all over Europe coming up. You can visit Prague Pride on Saturday August 16 - and explore my beautiful country. Or maybe the last August weekend suits you better? Then you have the chance to visit Pride in Leicester (UK) or Copenhagen (Denmark). Party on & keep safe!  
11th of August 2014
Yesterday the seventh edition of the Antwerp Pride took place in Antwerp. This is a free event that defends the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders. Antwerp was colored with rainbow flags and smiling faces. The Antwerp Pride does not only stand for party and entertainment, they also want to draw the attention to the international situation regarding gay rights. So not only performances were given, but also activists from Cameroon and Russia talked about the problems in their countries. The police in Antwerp sent a delegation along in the procession this year as a symbolic signal because in many countries the police are still linked to violence against the LGBT community. The performance where everyone looked most forward to took place on Sunday evening and was given by the Austrian Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst. The bearded transvestite closed the Antwerp Pride in style, though the performance was interrupted for half an hour by the heavy rainfall. But this did not stop the 3500 fans, who waited patiently. The guys on the photo couldn’t pass Conchita without taking a selfie with him (well, in fact this is a Conchita impersonator) and let's be honest, a picture with such an icon is quite awesome!   Muss da noch Wurst sein? Ja, bitte! Post written by Aline Elsermans 
8th of August 2014
Since early morning the atmosphere in the DAA center has been really special. Not only because it's the birthday of our beloved Jean-Yves- Happy Birthday!!! In the afternoon a film crew from Eastpak Artist Studio knocked on our door. Before, I had known Eastpak just for their famous backpacks, but I found out that they also have a project called Eastpak Artist Studio, that offers a platform for established and up-and-coming artists to use their creativity to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS amongst young people. Of course I don't have to highlight that they cooperate with DAA. They made an interview with Ninette about DAA, its mother organization Beauty without Irony (which is a creative platform for social change)and our Education Center. I can't help myself and I had to listen to them. And I was so proud of her! She really opened her heart and shone bright like a diamond! And what's more- she was even filmed with a drone, walking outside in the street! Some neighbours came out of their front door to see what that buzzing noise was about, it sounds like a whole nest of loud bees. The video crew is off to film more designers and artists now all over the world and I can't wait to see that video! Are you curious what was she's speaking about and how it looks like in our home? Watch this space as we'll be telling you all about it once it's out.
5th of August 2014
Someone with the nickname "Pumpkaboo" from Pokémon became the proud new owner of a rainbow-patterned PlayStation 4. In the auction by Swedish retailer Webhalle he paid more than 10 times the US retail price of a classic PS4. Thanks to him, more than 4100 dollar will be donated to the RSFL Newcomers network, a branch of the Swedish Federation for LGBT and Queer Rights which aims to help LGBTQ refugees and migrants. Retailer Webhallen started the 'Sony GayStation 4' auction at the end of July, during the Stockholm Gay Pride week. They promoted the project with these words:"For many young people, the world of games will become a refuge to escape the taunting, or worse, of real life. On Webhallen, we are gamers in heart and mind and are keen that as many as possible have the opportunity to feel welcome and enjoy the world's largest and fastest growing interest: video games."   We at DAA wonder if there will be a commercial version of this colourful Playstation- would you buy it?  
4th of August 2014
In my first days here, Ninette and Jean-Yves told me that one day I would have to do the inventory of the DAA stock and archive - and today that day has come! To be honest, it won't be the favourite part of my EVS experience, but on the other hand it's really interesting to look at everything that has been done with and for DAA for previous campaigns. I didn't have an idea about how many famous people have cooperated with DAA for instance and how many creative campaigns have been done already. And what I really enjoy is messing with all those amazing clothes! Glittery blazers, psychedelic patterned shirts or golden bermudas? We have it all! I'm really curious if I will enjoy this task just as much in the next couple of days, or if all those orange overalls and slogan T-shirts will become my biggest nightmare. My mission in counting the DAA stock and archive will not be finished very soon, so wish me luck! P.S. If you want to make this quest easier for the next interns, please buy as many DAA clothes as you can. He or she will definitely appreciate that.  
1st of August 2014
Both fragile and despotic We have been pushed from love In the bloody and sweaty quilt Red vegetables with hormones We have been swallowed without chewing Mais la pluie sera alaimisema! (But the rain will turn into a rainbow)  Mabel Matiz – Alaimisema : http://youtu.be/B-FYHq0tOWo    Have you ever heard this song? I am sure you haven’t but you should. It is a brand new Turkish song called ‘Alaimisema’ by Mabel Matiz, a Turkish singer, songwritter and LGBT supporter. His new LGBT themed song ‘Alaimisema’ -which means rainbow in ancient Turkish- is now available on YouTube. The song is about homophobia, transphobia, hate and discrimination. Speaking of which: there's a LGBT pride coming up in Antwerp on August 8 -will you join Team DAA and make rain turn into a rainbow?
31st of July 2014
In front of the DAA education center the Pride flag is flying, heralding that 'Pride Week' is coming to one of the most open and tolerant cities regarding LGBT community rights and the acceptance of the queer lifestyle. From August 4 until 10 the city of Antwerp will be coloured with all shades of the rainbow. Please visit our beautiful city to support the main event, 'The Antwerp Pride Parade', which starts at 2 PM next to Waterpoort Saturday August 8 and ends at the Wave festival - pre-party and after-party festivities included. And on the other Pride days you won't get bored either: there's 'Pride Bingo' on Wednesday, a 'Midsummer Party' on Thursday, or do you prefer the 'Naked, Underwear & Fetish' party at Kinky's? If you want to show your support by dancing the night away, don't miss Saturday's 'Supergays' party, which will be on a party boat complex, with 6 different Dj's promising to blow your mind. Check out the program here http://www.antwerppride.com/2014/program.php . Year after year closing festival is increasing and becoming more popular. The main star of this fabulous party will be no one than Austrian singer and drag queen Conchita Wurst! Don't mis Conchita's show on Sunday August 10 on Grote Markt.   The message of Antwerp Pride is very strong,  thanks to all the immigrants from 164 different countries, who symbolize the wish for equality all over the world. See you there!  
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IHAEC blog

Enter the student's territory and follow the days of their lives at DAA's International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center (IHAEC).
On this page the students of the Education Center will tell you everything about their stay at DAA, from the things they learn and the campaigns they create to what they have for breakfast, this blog will be their online diary: an opportunity for them to share their experiences and to give you a sneak peak into the life at DAA IHAEC.
Enjoy the ride!






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