I found this in my mailbox this morning...
Reuters UK on Monday profiled efforts by Volkswagen of South Africa -- a subsidiary of the German car maker Volkswagen -- to fight HIV/AIDS among its workers and local children, including the creation of a board game to teach children about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and pregnancy. The game -- which is being used as part of a pilot project in five schools in Uitenhage, South Africa, where the company's headquarters are located -- aims to dispel myths and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. "The game is very similar to Trivial Pursuit, with questions about HIV/AIDS, rape, TB and pregnancy, but pertinent to that age group without being pornographic," Alex Govender, head of health services at VWSA, said. Children ages 11 to 13 are playing the game at schools in Uitenhage. VWSA offers HIV testing at no cost to employees, their partners and children and provides antiretroviral treatment through a workplace-based program. About 300 of VWSA's 6,000 employees are HIV-positive, and Managing Director Andreas Tostmann said the company has spent about $619,200 on its HIV/AIDS program since it began four years ago. VWSA also provides food and other assistance to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS and tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to people living with TB. "If we can make an early identification, [then] that worker can remain active and productive for a very long time," Govender said. The company has expanded its program to nearby Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Mutikani, Reuters UK, 8/30).
Say what you want about globalization and whether or not it is part of the solution or part of the problem. Either way, I think VW and corporations like them are to be applauded for their efforts. Back when I was with World Vision I held some preliminary discussions with a major Canadian mining company doing business in southern Africa. The topic was HIV/AIDS education and how we could work together. The amazing part was they had approached us! Yes, you might question their motives - after all, their workforce was dying off. But, I met some great people who were very passionate about helping.
Hats off to anyone who is trying to help..