20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) – Australia

The 20th International AIDS Conference got underway in Melbourne, Australia on the evening of Sunday, July 20th on a somber note as presenters paid respects to the lives of 6 conference attendees who perished en-route in the Malaysia airlines flight MH17 tragedy.

The evening continued with moving speeches by UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe (full speech can be found at: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/speech/2014/07/20140720_SP_EXD_AIDS2014opening_en.pdf), and Michael Kirby, who is a well-known human rights advocate and former Australian High Court justice (highlights of his speech have been published by The Body Pro and can be found at: http://www.thebodypro.com/content/74767/7-amazing-things-michael-kirby-said-about-hiv-at-t.html).

The Body Pro will be continuing it’s coverage of the 2014 International AIDS Conference which can be accessed at this link: http://www.thebodypro.com/content/74778/cacophony-or-consensus-snapshots-of-a-complicated-.html

The Conference Website also offers online coverage, webinars, a mobile app and other multi-media access at: http://www.aids2014.org/Default.aspx?pageId=720

HIV Orphans – news article from Australia with some new resources

This article was recently published in an Australian newspaper; it contains some excellent information regarding the adoption of HIV+ children and highlights a new advocacy group working to ensure these children’s rights are guaranteed. Here is a link to the news article:


SuperKidsGlobal – excellent new resource for families considering adopting a child living with HIV: http://superkidsglobal.com/

Wavin’ Flag – Grannies for Drugs Version

Take a minute to watch this video (link on left hand side of the page), and then click on the link (left hand side of the page) to hear K’naan speak and sign the petition to help make Bill C-393 a reality: http://www.aidslaw.ca/EN/camr/index.htm

Australia law makers challenge discriminatory practices against HIV adoption

Legal groups in Australia are working to make adopting children with HIV and other special needs less discriminatory by removing unnecessary legal barriers that are daunting to most adoptive families. The full article on this can be found at: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/01/16/hiv-adoption-rules-marred-discrimination

HIV Cheat Sheet – The Stigma Project

I love this for it’s simplicity and yet effectiveness – a great resource!

Cheat Sheet_The Stigma Project

If you’d like to see more, check out The Stigma Project at: http://www.thestigmaproject.org/

10 Curious Questions about HIV Transmission in 2013

The Body recently compiled a list of the most “curious” questions asked throughout 2013 users had posted to its “Ask the Experts” forum. And while we can all agree it is better to have people asking these questions than just making their own assumptions, they are certainly…interesting! My personal favorite – number 7 – Can I give HIV to myself?

Check out the answer and read the other 9 questions here: http://www.thebody.com/content/73340/10-curious-questions-asked-about-hiv-transmission-.html?getPage=1

Getting to Zero – World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is coming up on December 1st, and most cities and smaller centres are planning events to commemorate the day, and also to kick off Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988; with the 2013 theme being “Getting to Zero” – Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

As always, CATIE has compiled a comprehensive list of resources, article, an AIDS timeline, and a list of events being held throughout Canada. Visit http://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day to see what is happening near you.

Mother’s Day Gift that Makes a Difference


This is a fundraising project being organized by a friend of mine who brought her daughter home from Ethiopia over 1.5 years ago. She is planning a return trip to Ethiopia this coming October with Canadian Humanitarian`s expedition team!

From Tracey:

Canadian Humanitarian (CHOIR), is a non-profit organization that has a variety of projects that supports children and families in Addis, the capital of Ethiopia and other rural areas. Initiatives such as child sponsorship, along with medical and educational progrmas have a significant and positive impact on lhe lives of the children and families in Ethiopia. You can learn more about them at Canadianhumanitarian.com. They are truly amazing!

I will be apart of the a Canadian Humanitarian Expedition team traveling to Ethiopia for 2 weeks in October to volunteer our time and skills to a variety of their projects. I am currently fundraising for this expedition. Funds raised go towards travel expenses and a sizable donation to the projects! Canadian Humanitarian uses funds raised to support the programs!


The twist is that a person`s single contribution will work hard by actually supporting two organizations, both of whom are working hard in Ethiopia; Mission Ethiopia and Canadian Humanitarian. I custom ordered the necklaces from Mission Ethiopia (missionethiopia.com). Their jewelry program supports empowerment through sustainable jobs for women in Ethiopia. The women who craft these beautiful necklaces benefit directly from their employment. Then, the funds raised from the necklaces will inturn be used by Canadian Humanitarian to support their expedition work in Ethiopia! So, purchasing a necklace or two helps two organizations, having twice the impact in Ethiopia!


As you can see from the photos below, the necklaces are one-of-a-kind and well-crafted. They are really beautiful!

They are hand made by Ethiopian women, and there are four to choose from:

1) Ethiopian Cross- black clay beads, Ethiopian cross, 18 inches long

2) Lots of Swirls – swirl paper beads, clear spacers, 29 inches long *note – photo shows a much longer double strand, this is a single strand.

3) Spring Fun – bright colour paper beads, black and white spacers, 29 inches long

4) One Can Make A Difference- Black clay beads, single red bead, nickel spacers, 29 inches long


COST: You get to determine how much you would like to purchase a necklace for! The minimum is $25 per necklace (plus $3 for postage if you would like them mailed to you).

HOW TO ORDER: If you would like to order a necklace, just email me your order to hedges6805@rogers.com and we can arrange payment (cheques are perfectly fine) and delivery.


If you would like to make a cash donation instead of purchasing a necklace, that is also a great option (and a tax receipt can be issued).
If you are not interested, that is okay, at least you have learned about two really neat organizations making a difference in Ethiopia.

Thanks so much for any support ! I am so looking forward to returning to Ethiopia and working with the families and children!

Ethiopian Cross

Lots of Swirls

One Can Make A Difference

Spring Fun

Upcoming Information Evening – Adopting a Child Living with HIV

An Information Evening presented by The Children’s Bridge Adoption Consultants

Adopting a Child Living with HIV

Saturday, April 20th, 2013 in Mississauga, Ontario

Join us from 6:30 – 8:30pm!

Learn More About: basic facts such as: HIV transmission, treatment and risks, parenting a child living with HIV, psycho-social issues such as stigma, discrimination and disclosure, anti-retroviral treatments including information regarding provincial drug plans and insurance. Come away with knowledge regarding resources and supports for families within Ontario, as well as details regarding the adoption process, such as which countries/programs are available, the citizenship and immigration process, and including HIV in your homestudy.

Please note: This event is open to any families planning to adopt a child living with HIV, and not just those families in process with The Children’ Bridge.

For more information or to register please go to: http://www.childrensbridge.com/pages/upcomingevents.html

Expectations and Realities: Parenting an Adopted Child with Special Needs – Live Webinar

Expectations and Realities: Parenting an Adopted Child with Special Needs – Live Webinar

Thursday, January 17, 2013
7:00PM Central
Q&A: 8:00PM


Is your child emotionally acting much younger than their age? Have special needs you weren’t expecting? Behaviors that resemble ADHD?

You are not alone. These challenges are common for post- institutionalized children. Finding help, however, can be difficult.

Join a webinar featuring Martha Osborne, adopted person, adoptive mom and founder of the largest special needs adoption advocacy website, RainbowKids.com. Martha will lead an “in the trenches” discussion on how parents can get connected and supported.

•Learn how to build a plan to manage undiagnosed special needs
•Consider new, outside the box suggestions on how to address unexpected cognitive and emotional delays
•Understand how proactive parenting can help

Live Webinar on Thursday, January 17, 2013. To learn more or to register, click here.


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