Music263: Fighting HIV/AIDS with music

HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC.

Music for life!

Music for life!

Music263 initiative to harness power of music as AIDS weapon | HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC (HAZ).

A new venture by HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC (HAZ), has been launched with the aim of harnessing the power of Zimbabwean music as a potent and sustainable weapon in the country’s ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Executive Director of HAZ, Dr. Joshua Dziba said that the new initiative is multi-pronged, and reflects his organization’s ongoing commitment to becoming a significant player in not only educating others about HIV/AIDS and Zimbabwe, but also in engaging fellow Zimbabweans to be more involved in helping mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.

“Our goal is to be creative in getting people to engage with the country’s efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS.  Last year, we launched our re-envisioned Zimbabwe AIDS Relief campaign with a community engagement expo that was held in Mutare, Zimbabwe.  We have opened up the year 2013 with the launch of a revamped Zimbabwe AIDS Relief Marketplace (ZARMarketplace), on our website, as well as Music263, an initiative we are still rolling out to our global audience and supporters.  With Music263, we hope that we can get Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, reconnected with the current trends in Zimbabwean music, in all its diverse genres.  As they connect with Zimbabwe by purchasing music through Music263, the Diaspora Zimbabweans will also be supporting our charitable efforts in Zimbabwe,” Dr. Dziba explained.

Music263 has been incorporated into HAZ’s ZARMarketplace, an online shop featuring unique products from America to Zimbabwe.  HAZ hopes to raise funds for its charity work in Zimbabwe by selling tangible products through ZARMarketplace, and new-release downloadable music through Music263.  Dr. Dziba indicated that the organization has bigger ideas and plans in mind for Music263, but would only say that all these ideas would only come to light with the success of Music263 in its current format.  HAZ hopes to earn the support of prominent Zimbabwean musicians whom the organization believes can play a critical role in helping sustain the country’s momentum against HIV/AIDS.

Music263 has been designed to also benefit Zimbabwe’s musicians.  HAZ will only keep 10% of the royalties from music sold though its website, while participating music artists and promoters will retain the other 90% of royalties.

Founded in 2006, HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity INC (HAZ) is a unique Zimbabwean non-profit organization in that its staff and volunteers are spread across the globe, with members in the USA, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.  The Music263 program will be managed from Zimbabwe by HAZ’s newly appointed Fundraising Director, Ms. Fungai Chakara and her assistant, Mr. Russell Musakusa, an upcoming musician in his own right.  The decision to base the direct administration of Music263 operations in Zimbabwe also reflects upon the organization’s efforts to directly connect with Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe, even in its fundraising efforts.

Ms. Fungai Chakara who has prior experience working with upcoming Zimbabwean musicians also previously served as a Zimbabwe Junior Parliamentarian (2000-2003), a Junior Mayor for Mashonaland Central, and also once sat on the Zimbabwe Youth Council (2003 – 2005).  Ms. Chakara stated that Music263 will be a platform that will showcase the diversity of music coming from Zimbabwe’s young musicians today.  The music will range from Hip-hop, to Gospel, and will even include Traditional tracks.  Ms. Chakara and Mr. Musakusa (a.k.a Juss Russ) said they are both excited to be associated with HAZ, especially since this is a new opportunity for them to do what they enjoy  doing, while also positively impacting the lives of other Zimbabweans.

Anyone with internet access can listen to samples of available tracks from Music263 by going to music263.net.  Music tracks are being sold at an affordable US$0.99 per track.

 

Clinical Services Program Annual Report – 2008

HAZ ZW Assistant Operations Director, Mr. Nqaba Donga (Standing) poses with our partner physician, Dr. Goodness Msimanga.

HAZ ZW Assistant Operations Director, Mr. Nqaba Donga (Standing) poses with our partner physician, Dr. Goodness Msimanga.

This report was submitted to the UNTIL THERE’S A CURE FOUNDATION, for the two grants we received  for calendar year 2008, in support of our Clinical Services Program. The two grants ($10,000 for HIV medications and $9,000 for Clinic personnel compensation) were awarded to the Friends of Picardy Drive in partnership with HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity Inc, on September 4, 2007. The grants provided support for the HIV clinics we operate in Bulawayo and Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. As explained in the report, the actual operation period covered by the grants is calendar year 2008.

We recently concluded a 7-week site visit to all of our Zimbabwe projects. Our site visit to Zimbabwe started in mid-February 2009. We sought and received permission from UNTIL to delay the submission of this 2008 report until we concluded the site-visits in Zimbabwe. This 2008 Annual Report incorporates the input from these recent site visits.

We wish to express our profound gratitude for all of your support for the two clinics we initiated and operated throughout 2008. The clinics are still ongoing. The funding you provided has resulted in direct life-saving benefits and hope for the new patients that have been enrolled into the clinics.

We are pleased that UNTIL approved two new grants for 2009, to help sustain the two clinics we initiated in 2008. Our multidisciplinary-team approach to providing HIV/AIDS clinical services has improved the health outcomes for the patients. It has also lessened the stress on the patient family units by eliminating their need to search for treatment resources, and helped keep family units together.

Again, on behalf of the patients we serve at these two clinics, we thank you for your continued support for the children and families in Zimbabwe who are struggling to cope with the severe impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives.

Should you have any questions on any aspect of this report, or our activities in Zimbabwe please feel free to contact us using the details provided at the end of the report.

Download Complete Annual Reportpdf_small

WAD 2007 Student Essay Contest (WADEC): Project Report.

by Joshua M. Dziba
Executive Director, HAZ

Download PDF Versionpdf_small

PUBLISHER’S FOREWORD: We believe that the reader of the HAZ World AIDS Day essays will more fully appreciate the actual entries when they understand the history, aim, objectives, concept behind the WADEC project, as well as our review and conclusions of the first installation of the project. This report provides that context.

INTRODUCTION:

The first installation of the HAZ WORLD AIDS DAY STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST (WADEC) was conducted from November 9th to November 26th, 2007. This project was the initiative of one of HAZ’s younger volunteers who is based in Zimbabwe, Mr. Nqaba Donga, and served as a very practical example of the HAZ ethos at work. From an idea brought forth by one Zimbabwean, HAZ facilitated the collaborative efforts of Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe, Canada, the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States, and also even brought in our international partners to deliver the concept to a global audience. This simple project has turned out to be an astonishingly eye-opening experience for us at HAZ, as well as for our partners who participated in this initiative, and we believe that as people across the world read these essays, they will be equally moved as well.

AIMS & SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

Our aim was to successfully implement a project that would encourage the young people of Zimbabwe to become more engaged in HAZ initiatives as well as in the country’s national HIV/AIDS initiatives.

Our specific objectives were to:

  1. Design an essay contest that would promote the involvement of young people in Zimbabwe’s HIV/AIDS campaign by challenging them to examine their own personal vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
  2. Gauge the pulse of Zimbabwe’s young people for their understanding of issues of HIV/AIDS.
  3. Provide a voice for the young people of Zimbabwe, through which they could share their perceptions and life experiences in dealing with HIV/AIDS, with the global audience.

Our expectations from this straightforward concept were superseded by the final results of the project. We have been challenged by what the students share in their essays, and believe that readers of these essays will be equally challenged. We are already looking beyond the objectives we had initially set for ourselves, upon the initial design of this project.

THE CONCEPT:

The essay contest was designed to involve the participation of high school teenage students from four high schools in Bulawayo Zimbabwe. Students were asked to submit essays on a given theme. This year’s theme was “My Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS”. The students were asked to write an essay of any topic within the broad theme. The essays had to reflect the students’ perceptions of their own vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, be it in terms of potentially getting infected by the HIV virus themselves, or due to some other direct or indirect impact upon their lives by HIV/AIDS. No length limit was set. The essays were submitted by hand by representatives of each school’s HIV/AIDS club, to a HAZ representative in Zimbabwe. The essays were then faxed to the HAZ central offices, and subsequently distributed via email to selected reviewers who rated the essays. Cash prizes would be awarded to winning contestants as follows:

1st Place Girl’s School – ZW$30 million
1st Place Boy’s School – ZW$30 million
2nd Place Overall – ZW$20 million
3rd Prize Overall – ZW$15 million
Runner-Up Gifford – ZW$5 million
Runner-Up Montrose – ZW$5 million
Runner-Up Milton – ZW$5 million
Runner-Up Townsend – ZW$5 million

The Prize money was donated to HAZ by HAZ staff volunteers and by our partners at The Friends of Picardy Drive. The cash prizes will be distributed to the winning contestants through the HAZ representative in Zimbabwe, starting on December 3rd, 2007.

PROJECT REVIEW:

One member of HAZ described her experience in reading and rating the student-submitted essays as an absolutely mind blowing experience that is not enjoyable, but yet found the essays to be very enlightening and brave. Almost everyone of our team members who reviewed and rated these essays expressed astonishment at how many references to child sexual abuse we found in each essay that was submitted. Where we had approached this project from an academic-exercise point of view, we have been challenged beyond our expectations by the essays that were submitted, and by the realization of the potential crisis that lurks as Zimbabwe’s young people attempt to deal with the HIV/AIDS crisis that they find themselves growing up in. Final contest submissions were received from students ranging in age from fourteen (14) years of age, to nineteen (19) years of age, and all can be said to be reflective of children who have been forced to mature too quickly into a world of adult size challenges, as a result of their experiences with and perceptions of HIV/AIDS.

The essays were each delivered in a unique style of writing, all were handwritten, and all were deeply revealing, highly impressive, convincing as well as challenging. Several issues were highlighted in almost all of the essays that were submitted, or at least in a majority of them:

  • Issues of child sexual-abuse, by adults in all walks of life (parents, teachers, priests, and the sugar daddies and sugar mummies on the street).
  • Issues of peer pressure.
  • The risks associated with drinking alcohol and/or using drugs.
  • The role that the young people see both the local and international media playing in perpetuating the vulnerability of young Zimbabweans to HIV/AIDS.
  • The role that the young people see Zimbabwe’s traditional practices as having, in perpetuating their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
  • The role that the young people see Zimbabwe’s crumbling economy as having in perpetuating their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

NEED FOR ACTION:

All the essays, ranging from one submitted by a 14 year old student, to ones submitted by older teenage students, were suggestive of a young people that are experiencing a lot, seeing a lot, and processing a lot in their minds, perhaps with limited to no outlets for freely expressing themselves. Most of the contestants viewed their environments as un-accommodating or un-entertaining of the views of such young children on what is perhaps considered a mature subject. The submissions reflected a level of frustration at the unavailability not only of an accommodating platform that allows the young people to express themselves on the various issues associated with HIV/AIDS, but also frustration at the lack of support to empower them to deal with the life crisis and challenges they find themselves facing. HAZ intends to take this opportunity to explore ways of establishing safe, guided and non-judgmental platforms where young people can openly discuss the issues of HIV/AIDS that are affecting them.

THE ESSAYS:

First Prize from the girls’ high schools:

  • My World Of Entrapment.” Co-submitted by two female high school students aged 15 and 16 years of age, from a high school in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

First Prize from the boys’ high schools:

Second Overall Prize from both the boys’ and girls’ high schools:

Third Overall Prize from both the boys’ and girls’ high schools:

Runners Up (in no particular order) from both the boys’ and girls’ high schools:

The Essays from this year’s contest are being released sequentially, and the first prize winners can be read immediately online or downloaded from the HAZ Exclusive publications page under the WADEC category, and will also be distributed via the HAZ mailing list. You may share your thoughts and comments with us about the World AIDS Day Student Essay Contest project here.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora fight HIV/AIDS back home

A World AIDS Day – 2007 Press Release

Download PDF Version pdf_small

We are glad to announce today (December 1st, World AIDS Day 2007) that we are stepping up our efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS as we startup and support five new projects in Zimbabwe. The projects will be located in Bulawayo, Chitungwiza and Nyanga. HAZ, as a global non-profit organization comprised exclusively of Zimbabwean professionals, has focused its efforts over the past two years on engaging Zimbabweans at the global level, to be directly involved in lessening the catastrophic impact of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. The projects we are officially launching today are:

• THE ILANGA SELF EMPOWERMENT NETWORK PROJECT (ISEN)
This project will build upon the ongoing efforts of a home-based care project started by a woman offering support and training to single HIV positive mothers in Bulawayo
• A NEW HIV/AIDS CLINIC: The clinic marks the official adoption of a new HAZ Clinical Services program, and expands on our ongoing support of two HIV/AIDS clinics administered by our partners, the Zimbabwe AIDS Relief in Harare and Mutoko. The new clinic is a joint venture betwen HAZ and the Friends of Picardy Drive (FOPD) and will be based in Bulawayo. The new clinic will seek to offer free clinical support to HIV/AIDS patients who currently have no access to clinical services.
• THE CHITUNGWIZA OPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN PROJECT (COVCP): This project will build upon the ongoing efforts of the Chitungwiza Unit K Seke Baptist Church to offer community based support to children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, within the Chitungwiza Unit K community.
• THE HOME OF HOPE CHILDREN’S HOME (HOH): HAZ will support on-going efforts to develop a Catholic-run orphanage in Nyanga.
• THE WORLD AIDS DAY STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST PROJECT (WADEC): This year’s implementation of this project has been ongoing for the past three weeks. The winning essays have been published along with a post contest review by HAZ, under the “WADEC” category of the HAZ Exclusive Publications. We guarantee you that the essays will challenge your views about the perceptions of Zimbabwe’s youths on HIV and AIDS.

In addition to initiating the above listed projects, HAZ will also continue supporting two clinics run by an American church-based organization in Harare and Mutoko, where 600 HIV/AIDS patients are now being treated at no charge. In addition, HAZ provides an online library of HIV/AIDS resources (The Zimbabwe Online Library of HIV and AIDS References –ZOLAR), consultancy services, online streaming HIV/AIDS information and exclusive HIV/AIDS publications.

Recently, a Rhodesian raised author (Ms. Doris Lessing) won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. There was much heated debate on one of the Zimbabwean online forums, about whether Zimbabweans can now claim to have won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature – by virtue of their historical association with Ms. Lessing. Sharing the Nobel Prize with Ms. Lessing in this context would bring, and in some cases has brought much pride to Zimbabweans worldwide. Zimbabweans also walk with pride today, at reports that our country’s HIV prevalence rates continue on a steep decline. We feel like we have collectively done something positive as a country. HAZ aims to tap into that Zimbabwean collective potential, by engaging Zimbabweans on a global scale, to be directly involved and to work more collaboratively, in mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS amongst our own people. It is a uniquely Zimbabwean experience at a global level, which brings us a uniquely Zimbabwean satisfaction, which we cannot attain in any other way.

This HAZ approach, the global approach to engaging other Zimbabweans in mitigating the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Zimbabwe is new to most of us as Zimbabweans. We have thus sought guidance, and continue to seek guidance, by partnering with other effective, long and newly established organizations, both in Zimbabwe and abroad, who share our vision. We as Zimbabweans in the Diaspora may not all have much money to spare, but we all have a talent, skill, or expertise, which if brought into a collaborative effort can help make a difference to at least one life touched by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. We leverage our individual talents in an organized way and also collaborate with our local and international partners such as the Friends of Picardy Drive and the Zimbabwe AIDS Relief, to maximize the impact of our efforts and collective resources. Being a non-governmental organization, HAZ is nonetheless mindful to ensure that the organization’s efforts and initiatives are in line with, and compliment Zimbabwe’s national anti HIV/AIDS efforts, which are coordinated through the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe.

HAZ uses all raised funds to provide the maximum benefit in an accountable and sustainable way. We also seek to provide a Zimbabwean perspective to non-Zimbabwean organizations wanting to be a part of the AIDS relief efforts in Zimbabwe, ensuring sensitivity in the work done by non-Zimbabweans, to Zimbabwe’s socio-cultural ways of life.

HAZ uses internet technology to connect talented Zimbabweans around the globe with accountable and sustainable projects which empower children and families impacted by AIDS. HAZ’s approach helps mitigate the “brain drain” of talent from Zimbabwe by reconnecting with that same talent globally and providing a vehicle for continued engagement from afar. “Zimbabweans are contacting us daily to say “count me in … how can I volunteer?” says Joshua Dziba, the Executive Director of HAZ.

Zimbabweans may be dispersed across the globe, but we believe that all have something to offer in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is not just our individual families, facing HIV/AIDS back home, that need us now more than ever. It is the whole of Zimbabwe that needs our support. As we reflect upon this World AIDS Day 2007, we ought to remember that; “Activism begins by touching just one life” and that even though “individually we may be just one drop in the ocean, together we are the ocean.”

FACTS:

ABOUT HAZ: “HIV/AIDS|ZIMBABWE CHARITY, INC” was formed in 2005 and is a global organization of Zimbabweans, both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora, who are working together to provide effective and sustainable solutions to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS amongst Zimbabweans. We are a registered trust in Zimbabwe and a tax exempt, non-profit, public charity organization in the USA, with additional chapters in Canada and the UK. HAZ provides organized support and services through the following six programs:

1. Children’s Services Program
2. Clinical Services Program
3. Community-Based Service Projects
4. Consultancy Services
5. Informational/Educational Services
6. Strategic Partnerships Program

ABOUT FOPD: “The Friends of Picardy Drive” was formed in 2002 and is based in Oakland, California (USA). The organization provides; an online community news and resources directory, as well as support and fundraising for local and global charitable activities. FOPD collaborates with HAZ and ZAR on a number of Zimbabwe projects providing AIDS support and services. FOPD is a registered tax-exmpt, non-profit, public charity organization in the USA.

Friends of Picardy Drive
www.FOPD.org

ABOUT ZAR: “The Zimbabwe AIDS Relief” is a project of the Allen Temple Baptist Church’s AIDS Ministry and is based in Oakland, California (USA). The Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry was formed in 1989 and has a local focus addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans in the East Oakland community. Since 1999, the AIDS Ministry has been involved in several projects under an initiative called the “Zimbabwe AIDS Relief” project. This project currently administers two HIV/AIDS clinics in Harare and Mutoko and also supports a large children’s home in Mutoko. The Allen Temple Baptist Church is a registered non-profit organization in the USA.

Zimbabwe AIDS Relief
www.ZimbabweAIDSRelief.org / www.Allen-Temple.org

The Just Children Foundation Pilot Project

The Just Children Foundation (TJCF) is an independent organization located in Harare Zimbabwe. TJCF is helping to lift Zimbabwe’s AIDS orphans out of poverty and a future of uncertainty, by providing them with a home and a guidance to steps towards a better future. In June of 2006, HAZ chose to partner with TJCF in the HAZ-Just Children Foundation Pilot Project (HAZ-JCFPP or HAZ-JCPP) in recognition of the tremendous work TJCF is performing in Zimbabwe, under very challenging conditions. We are glad to announce that we delivered over US$1,200 worth of baby formula to The Just Children Foundation on September 22nd, 2007.

Read more about The Just Children Foundation Pilot Project.

Read the pdf version of HAZ-JCPP report pdf_small