Mr. and Miss Red Ribbon is a charity event organized annually by Nakuru Youth groups including the Rising Voices grantee Repacted from Nakuru, Kenya. As a major build up activity towards World Aids Day on December 1, 2010 this event deals with eradicating stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.
This year, after two months of preparation, Mr. and Miss Red Ribbon 2010 took place on Saturday 27th of November at Hotel Bontana in Nakuru. From the Repacted project blog:
MR. and MISS RED RIBBON, an annual beauty pageant with a difference as it brings together people leaving with HIV and aids together to celebrate beauty and fight stigma.
The event attracted a total of 20 model participants 12 of them being positive from various C.B.O that offer support to PLWH. It also attracted 4 guest performances from outside making the total number of participants to 24.
On the run-way were models of different sizes not forgetting age ranging up to 52 years of age all in an aim to fight the ‘beast’ stigma with beauty as the strongest.
Collins Dennis Oduor of Repacted writes about the objectives of the contest:
It creates awareness on different issues directly associated with HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination, positive living, gender based violence, reproductive health and methods of protection against sexually transmitted infections. It also aims at encouraging the public to take a HIV test. As a build up to the world AIDS day, the project will reach out to 1500 people encourage them on the importance of knowing their status.
Build up activities will be organized in the communities around Nakuru town; the activities will include; Community auditions for the models, mobilization for counseling and testing, and workshop for the models.
After the main event, activities will be organized in different settings targeting the general population, the winners shall remain peer mentors in their respective communities, and they will conduct outreaches and participate in health action days.
Around 400 people attended the event and Daniel Mwangi came as the winner of the Mr. Red Ribbon and Fridah Abio was judged Miss Red Ribbon for the year. See more images of the event at Repacted blog.
Here is a Twitter reaction on the event:
mmocharo: attended a miss red ribbon Nakuru yesterday, a huge step in fighting stigma.