AIDS Orphan Support NGO PLAS
7F Creative One Akihabara
5-3-4 Ueno Taitoku Tokyo
The PLAS Vision
A world in which every child affected by HIV/AIDS lives free of stigma and discrimination, and in which all people are free from the threat of HIV/AIDS.
The PLAS Mission
In order to realize this vision, PLAS:
These three pillars form the foundation for our organization's activities.
Our goal is a society in which communities work together without prejudice or discrimination against AIDS orphans in order to provide them with an education. Furthermore, in order to eliminate HIV/AIDS and reduce the number of AIDS orphans in the world, we are developing AIDS prevention activities, and supporting couples who are at risk of mother to child transmission. Also, in society at large we report on the present condition of AIDS orphans, and appeal to the necessity of providing them with support.
1.Education support for AIDS orphans
Provide support to educate the large number of AIDS orphans with no education.
2. End discrimination of AIDS orphans
Eliminate not only prejudice regarding AIDS, but also discrimination against AIDS orphans.
3.Educate about HIV/AIDS Prevention
Offer a chance for people to obtain good information about HIV/AIDS, and promote HIV examinations.
4.Support for couples and expecting/nursing mothers in cases where mother and child are at risk for infection.
Urge couples hoping to conceive and expecting/nursing mothers to be inspected for HIV. When HIV positive, endeavor to prevent the spread of the infection between mother and child. Finally, provide support for family planning.
5.Stimulate Independent Support in Communities
Because communities are the safety net for AIDS orphans, we promote and support their self development.
6.Improve recognition of the issue of AIDS orphans
n order to improve recognition of the issue of AIDS orphans, we advocate to society about the necessity of support. In addition we appeal to governments and organizations.
"I'd like to set out on a trip to Africa once in my life!"
My originally vague idea of going to Africa once in a lifetime gradually took a stronger hold on myself, until in the end I took time off for voluntary work in the course of my graduate study and set my foot on the soil of some local village in Kenya in spring, 2005.
I volunteered my time and skills to a local NGO's activities and there looked squarely at the cruel realities wherein I found myself helpless in the face of the AIDS pandemic and dire poverty as well as their consequential lack in education and medical care for children, all of which came as a terrible shock to me.
And yet, what impressed me most about this experience was not by any means the dark shadow of a series of misfortunes and much sorrow that the villagers encountered, but rather their strenuous efforts to give rise to changes in such existing disastrous conditions and to bustle around the community to that end--and above all, it was a smile, which came over children’s face that looked free from all troubles and worries about the severe conditions surrounding them, that has never faded from my mind since then.
At the time, I was therefore a captive of the faces of such African youngsters radiant with hope and this experience led me to be seized with an irresistible impulse to revisit Kenya in August of the same year.
On the occasion of this second visit, what then lay before me was, as everyone knows, again nothing other than the harsh realities of life there--that is, when I paid a visit, driven by desire for viewing African children‘s present circumstances, to the orphanage, I was surprised to see a row of beds lined up to which babies in poor health were put. In fact, a high percentage of the babies were left an AIDS orphan, for they lost their parents due to the AIDS pandemic.
“First let’s begin by getting everything done that I can do for now.”
Having said this to myself, I left for home to put that plan into action.
Three months after my departure from Kenya, my idea of forming a group to work for the AIDS orphans in Africa attracted the support of the youth of the same generation who shared my ambition and this gathering led to, in the end, the foundation of our NGO, PLAS: Positive Living through AIDS Orphan Support, in December, 2005, as the first voluntary organization in Japan wholly devoted to giving support to children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.
There is, we believe, a good reason that our NGO is designed to stretch out a helping hand exclusively to the AIDS orphans: first of all, despite the gravity of their situation, the issue of the AIDS orphans has been left out of consideration up to date and as a result, many pressing problems on their lives still remain both untouched and unsolved. But more importantly, the issue of the AIDS orphans has been hardly worth consideration so far, for HIV/AIDS has been taken up primarily as an urgent problem that matters much to “adults”--in other words, the point at issue here is the care of AIDS patients and other adults with an infection who have not yet developed AIDS symptoms. By contrast, the issue of the AIDS orphans, from our viewpoints, which entails more than a purely medical treatment for AIDS, has not been a grave concern to such adults.
“I want to study!”
“I want to become a teacher!”
Each of us nevertheless encountered numbers of AIDS orphans filled with high hopes, who talked about their dreams for the future like this. On the other hand, we were also an eyewitness of their harsh living conditions wherein these AIDS orphans suffered under groundless prejudice against AIDS, went day after day to a well to draw water instead of going to school, and had no option but to even rummage through food remnants to survive--to add to this, when things were at the worst, there were instances in which nobody actually took responsibility for bringing up these children.
Faced with such grim realities of the AIDS orphans’ lives, we discussed the best way to lead the children’s talents to blossom and to give shape to their long-cherished dreams.
At last, we then took a hint from a local community’s activities in Africa.
This is to say, while society is still steadfastly prejudiced against HIV/AIDS, we met by chance those local residents who were prompted by a desire to give the AIDS orphans an education and to build a village community where the AIDS orphans can be all smiles.
PLAS joins hands with such fellow thinkers in Africa and will go forward together with our project to give support to the AIDS orphans.
To that end, however, we must also ask for your cooperation--please join forces with us and let’s unite ourselves against a crisis in Africa by preventing the further spread of infection by the AIDS virus. And most important of all, we should always keep in mind that we stick to this purpose, more than anything else, solely for the good of the AIDS orphans.
AIDS Orphan Support NGO - PLAS President