Holding an AIDS Orphans Awareness Day event is an excellent way to introduce others to the global issues of HIV/AIDS and AIDS orphans. To read about our ThinkQuest team’s AIDS Orphans Awareness Day and for some awareness day downloads, click here. Here are some suggested steps on how to hold your own event:
Set goals. Have an objective for your awareness day. Are you just trying to raise awareness or are you also trying to raise money? Who is your audience? Are you expecting elementary school students or adults to attend your event? Make sure your information and activities are age-appropriate.
Find a venue. Get permission to hold your event at a public place which is large enough to hold as many people as you anticipate coming. Local public schools, libraries, and churches are often good places to hold an event.
Set a date. Choose a date for your event in which you know people can attend. If your audience is school students, try to have it after school or on the weekend. If your audience is adults, make sure the timeframe is after common work hours. World AIDS Day is December 1 and World AIDS Orphans Day is May 7. Both are good times to have events if they are within your time range.
Plan activities.Decide what exactly you are going to do at your event to reach your goals. Plan your event through an agenda, which you may want to copy for your participants. Organize your activities- will they happen at the same time or in an order? Make sure that you have all of the proper materials for each one, and try to predict how long each activity will last. Here are some possible activities which you can include in your awareness day:
- Present background information. Make sure to give your audience the cold, hard facts about AIDS orphans. You can do this though a PowerPoint presentation or by hiring a speaker. If you would like, ask an informed person to speak at your event about AIDS orphans, HIV/AIDS, or orphans. Some good places to look for speakers are colleges (check relevant majors- professors may have opinions on HIV/AIDS), non-governmental organizations (like the Red Cross), and/or through any credible and certified contact who may know about topics relevant to your event’s goals. You may also speak at your event or train a charismatic friend to present your information. You can download a PowerPoint presentation featuring the information on this website by visiting our Current Efforts: Our Efforts section.
- Show a film. The media can be a powerful way to show someone the faces of AIDS and AIDS orphans. There are many options of films to show. You can show a fictional drama, like Beat The Drum, which takes facts about AIDS and AIDS orphans and organizes them in a dramatic means. You can also show a documentary like Angels in the Dust, which is less processed but contains more live footage. YUGA has a list of suggested films (long and short) about AIDS found here. Because films take up a lot of time, make sure whatever film you show is meaningful and appropriate.
- Sign petitions. Check online to see if there are any bills in your governmental bodies regarding HIV/AIDS or AIDS orphans. If you do not know of any specific bills, you can also write a letter in general asking your representatives to support your cause. When righting a letter, you may want to follow some of the letter-writing guidelines we mentioned in the Write a Letter Download.
- Collect donations. Many participants may be interested in donating to relevant causes, especially after they have learned about AIDS orphans through awareness day; however if you require people to pay in order to attend the event you may discourage people from coming and limit the scope of the awareness day. Pick a cause to donate to (if you are looking for organizations, visit our Get Involved: Donate page, then think of ideas on how you can raise money. Some people may feel comfortable donating money in exchange for nothing. Others may prefer something in exchange: you can sell food, whether it is handmade baked goods or professionally catered. These items can be available at flat prices or for free with suggested donation values. You can also design t-shirts and sell them to benefit your cause. Visit the Current Efforts: Our Efforts section to download a t-shirt design by Nik, one of our team members.
- Other activities. Feel free to have any other combination of activities at your event. For example, you can have guests make a giant banner to increase awareness for AIDS, or you can organize group discussions and activities. YUGA has a list of recommended activities when holding an AIDS Awareness Day or fundraiser at this website. You can also give the participants a preliminary survey to access their knowledge of AIDS orphans. Visit the Current Efforts: Our Efforts section to download our survey.
- Raise publicity. Place informative fliers or posters in public locations to raise publicity for your event. Make sure to include the date, time, and location, and try to use photos and facts to entice people to come. You may also be able to contact a local newspaper to have your event advertised in the community event section. Do not forget to invite your friends and family personally.