To ensure that the wishes and views of young people from all over the world are also represented at this year’s World AIDS Conference, our CEO Daniel Nagel and our CHRO Lennart Falk have spent the last few days in India. Just before the two of them return to Germany, Lennart gives you an insight into the most important meetings and the most exciting experiences in India.
After one week in India that was packed with appointments, we are now on our way back home. In summary, I can say that our association has been very well received. The feedback on what we do has been very positive and the joy of sharing accordingly. While we face substantive challenges in India, we would not be Youth Against AIDS if we couldn’t overcome that hurdle. Nevertheless, we are incredibly proud that we were able to present our campaign and that we have already received a lot of feedback from young Indians who want to travel to Amsterdam with us. That’s why it’s about time to put the pedal to the metal! But let’s start at the very beginning.
First stop: New Delhi
We made our first stop in New Delhi, the capital of India. Just one day after our arrival and the long flight, we met a women’s rights organization there, who introduced us to their work. On Tuesday we went to the outskirts of town to attend one of their workshops and to talk to the local girls. Only a short time later, we were invited to their head office to introduce each other andl to discuss our plans for the World AIDS Conference in July, which takes place in Amsterdam. That same evening, the journey through India continued for us.
Second stop: Mumbai
Our next destination was Mumbai, where we met various activists, but most of all the “Humsafer Trust”. This is an NGO campaigning for the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) scene in India. We used Wednesday to get to know the work of the so-called “Outreach Workers” and talked about the need with them. On Thursday, we visited one of the largest hospitals in Mumbai and were able to gain some impressions on how they treat HIV and AIDS, as well as hepatitis B, syphilis and HPV. In addition, we talked to the students of the University Hospital about our work and also presented our campaign AIDS2018 there, which was once again very well received.
The Friday was unfortunately already the last day of our trip. We were invited to the head office of “Humsafer Trust”, with whose work we are in exchange in India, and also took part in one of their workshops. As the grand finale of our exciting journey, we were able to present our campaign on Facebook in a live.
Overall, I can say that India is very different from Germany and Western Europe. In all respects. People, culture and cities are noticeably different. Nevertheless, it is already really exciting to spend only one day in India and to get in touch with the people. The Indians were really friendly and getting in touch was pretty easy as they take a lot of time for others and generally have a very quiet nature.
The most striking thing, even in the context of our work, was that there is also a need for sexual education here. The interests of young people are the same as in Germany, and the approach of NGOs in India is very close to our work. This also enabled us to fulfill a certain need and will continue to do so.
Spread our message
It is incredibly exciting to spread our values around the world. And I can’t say it enough: “It’s not only an experience, it’s an adventure!” The work in India has once again confirmed to my association that we are on the right path and really good in what we do. Our initiative is unique and I am very happy that I was able to spread our goals and values in India. Therefore, I can only recommend to everyone, to continue to work for Youth Against AIDS at all, and to stay involved with motivation and diligence in order to achieve and to experience something unique.
Do what you want. Do it with love, respect and condoms.
This post was written by Jugend gegen AIDS Blog