AJWS Haitian Grantee Wins U.N. Red Ribbon Award for HIV Prevention

 

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AJWS Haitian Grantee Wins U.N. Red Ribbon Award for HIV Prevention

SEROvie, one of the only Haitian organizations offering services to LGBT communities, wins prestigious U.N award

New York, NY; July 25, 2012— American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development and human rights organization, is proud to share that its grantee SEROvie has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Red Ribbon Award. SEROvie, along with the other Red Ribbon winners, will be visiting the White House today to discuss their work.

The Red Ribbon Award, presented by the United Nations at the International AIDS Conference, celebrates outstanding initiatives and leadership in reducing the spread and impact of AIDS. Award winners will have an opportunity to showcase their work at the conference and receive a prize of $10,000. SEROvie is one of the only organizations in Haiti specifically providing HIV and AIDS related support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"By working with sexual minorities, SEROvie fills an important niche in HIV prevention work in Haiti," explains Ruth W. Messinger, president of AJWS. "Their successful work on rights, advocacy and education, as well as prevention, is a strong testament to the importance of a sustainable grassroots effort to combating HIV and AIDS. AJWS is honored to work with this courageous organization."

Founded in 1999, SEROvie aims to improve social, economic and cultural conditions for sexually diverse communities by raising awareness about HIV and AIDS, providing psychosocial support, advocating for an end to discrimination and increasing the financial independence of LGBT youth through vocational training programs. In addition, SEROvie distributes sexual health materials to nearly 3,300 people. Its dual focus on rights and health enables it to serve the immediate needs of its community while working to safeguard the future of Haiti’s sexual minorities.

AJWS first began working with SEROvie in 2010 after the earthquake. Amidst the overcrowding and general insecurity of the internally displaced person (IDP) camps, where many of Haiti’s sexual minorities now find themselves, SEROvie’s community center and HIV and AIDS services are more vital than ever. Currently, AJWS supports a SEROvie program providing vocational training to 150 youth. AJWS also funds a project to document human rights abuses and support national advocacy in Haiti.

In March 2011, AJWS supported SEROvie representatives on their trip to New York and Washington, D.C., where they met with key government officials to advocate for greater involvement of civil society in the post-earthquake reconstruction process.