Catlin Gabel students help Michelle Obama fight AIDS in Botswana

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Catlin Gabel students helped paint a mural to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama to Botswana. The First Lady visited the Botswana-Baylor Centre for Children’s Excellence to highlight the organization’s efforts to develop a new treatment and counseling facility for HIV+ teens.

Thirteen students assisted local artist Lesedi to sketch and paint traditional Botswana figures, designs and backgrounds on a 30m concrete wall. The group also developed educational play activities for HIV+ youth awaiting treatment and counseling appointments.

In addition to the Baylor Centre, Catlin Gabel students provided support to the Maru-a-Pula Orphans and Vulnerable Children Fund, SOS Children’s Village, a health clinic in Thabala, and high school students in Gumare. Students met with Dr. Ava Avalos of the Ministry of Health and Thobo Mogojwe of PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation).

The Botswana-Baylor Centre is one of many partnerships between the Ministry of Health and international organizations, part of a coordinated, national effort to combat AIDS. Approximately 30% of all adults in Botswana are infected with HIV.

Each year, Catlin Gabel welcomes one Maru-a-Pula exchange student to Oregon. Catlin Gabel students are currently traveling through Botswana as part of the school’s global education program.

Further information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13910916
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-obama-botswana-idUSTRE75N6DA20110624
http://www.bipai.org/
http://botswanateenclub.wordpress.com/
http://maruapula.org/support-map/orphans-vulnerable-children-bursary-fund