Can we make a difference in the lives of impoverished AIDS orphans on the other side of the globe? Davis residents can shout a resounding “yes” by participating in the Sahaya Walks event on Sunday.
For the past six years, the walks have given participants of all ages, from children to retirees, the opportunity to address problems in the world caused by AIDS. Nearly $50,000 has been raised.
“We have sent 100 percent of these proceeds to provide for 22 HIV-infected children in Sahaya’s programs in India,” says Koen Van Rompay, founder of the Davis-based Sahaya International. The funds are “giving the children access to the basic needs of life, including access to life-saving HIV medicines and proper nutritional supplements to keep their health strong.
“Thanks to our annual walks, we have not lost a single child due to AIDS for six years. This is truly something to celebrate,” he adds
The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 38141 Russell Blvd. in West Davis. Organized by Sahaya International in partnership with many faith-based organizations and student clubs, the event features an opening ceremony with Sandy Holman of the Culture Co-op as the emcee and an easy half-mile walk followed by fun educational activities and games for all ages, music, lemonade and snacks.
Van Rompay says that although the problems seem overwhelming, AIDS is a treatable disease that can be challenged by education and caring.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that, together, we can make an incredible difference and continue to provide a future to these 22 children, and any additional HIV-infected children who may be diagnosed in their rural area,” Van Rompay adds.