2009 was a great year for Step By Step Africa.
In Ghana we have continued to support HIV positive mothers by providing baby formula so they don’t have to breastfeed, which can transmit the virus. We have been supporting 5 mothers throughout the year, and all of their babies have remained HIV negative! At the end of November, we added another woman to the group of mothers that we support.
In July, we provided bed nets to a group of people living with HIV/AIDS in a town called Wiaga, about 10 minutes away from Sandema, where Step By Step Africa is based.
This past summer also saw us launch a new initiative. In July we started broadcasting awareness messages on the district radio station. Our message had 3 key themes: fighting the stigma faced by people living with HIV/AIDS, education on HIV/AIDS prevention, and what treatment and support is available in the district from the hospital and from Step By Step Africa. We have broadcast our recorded message twice in the second half of the year and are hoping to do so more regularly in 2010.
In Canada, we have had our best year yet on the fundraising front! Our annual concert, last June, was a big success and was complemented by another concert in London, Ontario last spring. This past December, we had our first holiday gift campaign, which brought in over $2000. Overall, we raised over $4000 in 2009, a new record for Step By Step Africa.
What do we have in store in 2010? Expect another great concert fundraiser, and after the success of the holiday gift campaign that will be back too with even more promotion! We will be working hard on expanding our donor base and reaching out to increase awareness of Step By Step Africa in the GTA and elsewhere.
In Ghana, we will continue to support HIV positive mothers and seek ways to provide them even more assistance. Our radio awareness efforts will be stepped up to be on air more frequently to spread this important message. And as always, we will be working closely with people on the ground to understand what they need and how we can support them more.
On behalf of everyone at Step By Step Africa, in Canada and in Ghana, we would like to thank all of our donors and supporters for continuing to stand behind us. We would never have been able to accomplish what we have without you!