Designers Against AIDS. Not only is this the place that has given me my first opportunity to intern somewhere, but also a non -profit organization with a noble cause, which is what, allured me in applying here. Before I get into the fundamentals of my work, I am going to start off by telling you a little about me. My name is Shaini, and I have been born and bred in the heart of Antwerp. However, having Indian parents has led me to visit India quite often and India has 2.4 million people diagnosed with HIV. This is not a small number, and thus naturally I was aware of the urgency of getting tested and having safe sex.
One of the problems is sex is such a taboo subject due to the conservative nature of the Indians especially the rural Indians that it is almost impossible for them to accept contraceptives without being ‘ashamed’ of doing so. So, when I found out that one of the projects I would be working on is a campaign ‘India Against AIDS’, I was immediately intrigued. I am excited to do something to help my native country, from 7189 kms away.
Being at the job for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, I have already received a summarized lesson on HIV/Aids, and something that I learnt which I was completely shocked by is how common HIV/Aids is in Belgium. It has three new infections per day, which is appalling for it being a small country. When I asked my friends if they were aware of this, they said no and that is when I realized how oblivious Belgians are to this fact. So, when I found out that my colleagues are visiting a school to do a workshop next week, it made me content because HIV/Aids is not a joke.
I am ecstatic to hop on board in joining Designers Against AIDs in their incredible adventure, even if it is only for a week. I will be sure to update you on my work and how it is just to be here.