RESULTS Makes a Splash in Mississippi!
Last month, I was on a mission to find an audience to hear the personal life story of Joyce Kamwana, one of the “Here I Am” campaign ambassadors for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Her story is as tragic as it is hopeful, and the public simply needed to hear it.
Seeing that RESULTS ally Dr. Thomas Dobbs, District Health Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health, was presenting at the Jackson Public Health AIDS Forum on World AIDS Day, I knew I had to give him a call to see if I could wiggle Joyce into the agenda. But Dr. Dobbs had a better plan. He introduced me to Kathy Garner of the Hattiesburg AIDS Services Coalition who, in turn, imagined a luncheon featuring Joyce as the keynote speaker and honored guest.
Forty women attended the luncheon, in addition to the mayor and an editorial writer. Some attendees are currently living with HIV while others are physicians and social workers in the community. Joyce’s story and strength inspired their laughter and admiration and, sure enough, the minute the presentation was over, women rushed over to RESULTS to find out how they could become AIDS activists.
I am very thankful to Dr. Dobbs for his support because Hattiesburg was not a city I was considering while working to expand RESULTS in the south. Yet here we have hit a jackpot of passionate women whose voices will soon be used to save lives, educate children, and otherwise tear down the house in Washington!