Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC recently joined hands with The Salvation Army for the annual HIV& AIDs families' get-together. Over 400 families from this community participated from island-wide. Caltex has worked previously on several HIV/AIDs prevention programmes.
This special event was designed to provide the opportunity for the HIV/AIDS infected community to reach out to one another. Infected families from AIDs organizations such as Lanka Pulse, Positive Women Network and Positive Hope Allianz were amongst those who participated. Children below the age of 10 also participated.
The annual get-together was held at the Salvation Army Sri Lanka headquarters in Colombo. The day's agenda comprised of several team-building and confidence boosting activities for the individuals and families. Songs, Games, Drama, Mimes and a family gift-giveaway segment were also organized.
"Though the rate of prevalence is low in our country today, it's spreading faster than ever before with the country recording close to 300 patients a year. The sustainability we speak of will not be a reality unless we protect one another. All Sri Lankans need to join hands to fight against this. It is important for each one of us to advocate a change through awareness, whilst managing the social stigma factor in a sensible manner. Due to the issue of social stigma, proper preventative and curative treatment is avoided by most individuals", said Mr. Kishu Gomes, Managing Director/CEO of Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC.
"Communities respond in fear and are deliberately ignorant to issues related to HIV and AIDS. Integrating this community, and giving them hope and confidence will help them to interact with the society and contribute meaningfully again" said Ms. Swarna De Silva, Coordinator, HIV & AIDs from the Salvation Army.
Chevron has always had an unstinted passion towards community development. The company recently stepped forward to help eradicate the spread of AIDs through a major awareness campaign for over 1000 private sector employees in the country. A series of awareness building seminars were conducted together with the Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and AIDs, with the specific aim of building AIDs ambassadors on 'Safety, Protection and Awareness'. For several years, Chevron has partnered in numerous rural & community development initiatives, practiced as a concerted strategy to uplift, support and promote a better tomorrow for all its valuable stakeholders.