We seek economic and social justice for Youths Living With HIV/AIDS (YLWA) in developing countries of the world. We seek to counter stigmatization and discrimination of YLWA; to this end we work and advocate for total socioeconomic inclusion of YLWA.
A major characteristic of developing and struggling regions of the world is the high population of youths. In these regions the youths are a burden to their home communities drawing upon already scarce resources. The youths in these communities are unemployed, poor, diseased, stressed, and without hope. It is known that the youths everywhere hold the future of their communities; what future then do communities in developing struggling countries hold if their youths are hopeless? At Community Concepts Inc we set out for a mission to empower the youths in developing countries of the world and give them hope. We seek to turn these youths from a community burden to an engine of development.
A MEDICALLY EXTENDED BUT MISERABLE LIFE OF YOUTHS LIVING WITH HIV IN AFRICA
For about thirty years now, the international community has worked so hard to medically save lives of people afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Africa, however a new problem has arisen: Children born with HIV/AIDS - whose lives have been saved and are guaranteed by antiretroviral medications - are now adults with a fresh set of socioeconomic challenges threatening their own survival. Thankful to be alive they are at once stigmatized and without hope. With their bodies scarred over a lengthy battle with the disease most youth living with HIV/AIDS (YLWA) are distinguishable and easily identifiable. Employers do not want to take them on (because it is thought they will elicit workplace curiosity and possibly miss many work hours through secondary sickness) and they have no friends/lovers (for their illnesses could be contagious) as their communities treat them disdainfully. YLWA are stigmatized and ostracized, poor, and dejected; they have no hope for happiness.
Whereas in the developed countries of the world sociopsychoeconomic needs of YLWA are variously addressed, this is not so in the developing countries.
The hope for these YLWA in poor countries of the world is economic empowerment: Economic progress and success will garner them social acceptability and recognition within their communities. Economic empowerment will bring YLWA happiness. At Community Concepts Inc, we aim to redeem YLWA. We believe and want to prove that living with AIDS/HIV is neither a handicap nor a life sentence. We also wish to change social perception in poor countries by debunking discrimination of YLWA as misconceived and ignorant. Our mission in this respect is part of our overall pursuit for socioeconomic justice for discriminated youths in poor countries of the world.
Without socioeconomic justice for YLWA, medical intervention would not have achieved a desired end. People that have chronic illnesses need medication to be able to live fulfilling lives; they need medication to live happy lives devoid of pain and stress. But to medically extend one’s life, only for it to be a life of misery is a negation of the hope of science. In Africa, where the lives of youths living with HIV/AIDS have been medically prolonged, these extended lives are largely miserable. Socioeconomic justice is needed to give meaning to the lives of youth living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Community Concepts Inc in Boston is the first international nonprofit to champion the plight of YLWA in Africa and other poor countries of the world. We seek to design and implement appropriate programs that will alleviate the suffering of YLWA and give them a purpose to live.
DO YOU WANT TO JOIN US?
These young people are part of the masses of suffering African youths who have very limited opportunities. Amongst them are the HIV orphans that survived because of antiretroviral medications and are now youth living with AIDS. Scarred, stigmatized, and ostracized, they have been shunned by employers. Nobody even wants to date them. They need help and you can help us help them.
At CCI, we believe that communities in poor countries have the potential to successfully develop: Enduring solutions to most problems in the communities of poor economies are located within the socioeconomic substructure of those communities.
This belief underlines that the solutions to development challenges are more internally situated within communities than externally sourced. It is, for example, quite instructive that despite decades of poverty, disease, public mismanagement and governmental ineptitude, and a plethora of other challenges in developing economies, these societies have soldiered on. The people in poor countries have always fallen back upon their communities as a safety net whenever everything else fails. Foreign assistance policies and practices to these countries should take care to support home grown/community based solutions and, work to empower and build community capacities.
The primary resilience of these societies is owed to deep-rooted social networks and cultural norms of their communities. In most societies of Africa, Asian, Arab, and South American countries exist elaborate and ubiquitous social networks.
Therefore, we think external assistance should initially be limited to awakening internal potential. To this extent, we borrow from the science of immunotherapy— whereby the body’s natural defenses are externally excited and assisted to fight deadly diseases like cancer, we believe that we can prompt and support the community to turn challenges into opportunities.
For example, the community can be “prompted” (empowered) to accept, nurture, and fend for youths living with HIV/AIDS, who in turn can be a strength (as opposed to a drain upon) toward the well-being and progress of the community. A scrawny youth shown love and affection, and given capitalization or education could turn out to be an inventor of an idea that will save thousands of people within the community.
We believe that development challenges must be evaluated and understood before they are engaged. Definition of the problem, evaluation of enormity, analysis of alternative solutions, and scalability of eventual program solutions must be thoroughly established.
To this end, we cherish measurement of success. Inability to measure success has variously been cited as a challenge against millions of dollars spent toward solving development challenges in developing countries. At CCI, if we cannot measure, we do not attempt.
Our team aims to change socioeconomic development challenges into opportunities. It shall, for example, be a pleasure if the once stigmatized and ostracized African youths living with HIV/AIDS overcome their present handicaps courtesy of our efforts, and turn around to lead critical community development initiatives.
Today, these youths are a drain upon the community’s scarce resources and capabilities. Tomorrow, they shall be the movers of Community development.
Hope is Life! Help Us Give Hope.
African health professionals in the Diaspora in partnership with health professionals in Africa