Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Bono Taught Me About AIDS and Justice (World AIDS Day)

What Bono Taught Me About HIV/AIDS and Justice

In 2006 I had the opportunity to attend a Global Leadership Summit that was hosted by the Willow Creek Association.

Bill Hybels, founding pastor at Willow Creek Community Church interviewed Bono. Bono, an Irish rockstar? This combination seemed interestingly odd, yet ended up being a life-changing experience for me; an eye-opener to poverty and the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

He commented on how the church had been inexcusably late to the game at fighting poverty and treatable diseases, adding that people are judgmental about the AIDS virus. Bono gave an example: If you came up to a car accident and the injured driver was drunk, do you help him or judge him and let him die? No, we have to act!

Bono said, “Love thy neighbor is not advice. It’s a command. In a global community, the poor and the disadvantaged in Africa are our neighbors." He quoted Matthew 25:45: “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

He added, "Our purpose is to bring Heaven to Earth. The world is not a happy place for most people living on it." Bono wrapped it up with this statement: "Your charity is important, but your passion for justice is needed. I'm asking for your voice and for you to give permission to fix these problems that are fixable. It's not a burden, it's an's an adventure."

Within a year, Think Humanity became a nonprofit organization and our adventure began!

Think Humanity has done what little we can with our resources to help with AIDS sufferers in Uganda, but we can do more. Other clinics in Hoima charge $6 for a lab testing strip, but we provide this service free to those who cannot pay. When we do charge, it is only equal to the manufacturer's price of $2.

Think Humanity has held special meetings in Kyangwali Refugee Camp with the people that are suffering with HIV/AIDS. Some of the things we have done is to listen to their problems, which gives them hope and encouragement. We also give them items such as mosquito nets, soap and salt.

If you wish to help make a difference on World AIDS Day
1) learn more facts,
2) volunteer to help with a local organization (In Northern Colorado there is NCAP) or
3) a small donation to Think Humanity for test strips, bed nets or soap.
4) or to organizations, such as Global Fund.
Enjoy this day of remembrance and awareness, but know that beyond this day, any hope for a better world is to work towards compassion, love and fairness for all people regardless of where they live, what they do and who they are. - Beth Heckel, Think Humanity Founder

You ARE your brother's keeper and "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

The above photo was taken in Kyangwali Refugee Camp during a day of hope for HIV/AIDS sufferers.

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