The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP)
is an unprecedented coalition of major Caribbean commercial and public broadcast companies.
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ON THE LIVE UP FAST TRACK!
The CBMP has always believed in the power of opinion leaders to champion its causes through its various campaigns. From artistes to DJ's, Media Personalities to musicians and now sports people. In a year that Caribbean athletes have dominated global headlines and eclipsed even their wildest expectations of achievement, the CBMP feels doubly fortunate to have three such Jamaican athletes come on board and agree to be the face of the LIVE UP Campaign 2012.
In unveiling the next celebrity driven campaign – co-sponsored and endorsed by our new partners UNICEF – Communications Officer Allison Hickling explained that the CBMP's work with one particular area of the HIV & AIDS prevention agenda is what attracted UNICEF to the campaign. She said the four core areas of UNICEF's work in the Caribbean centre around preventing mother to child transmission, protecting and supporting children and their families who are infected and affected by HIV & AIDS (including orphans); providing treatment for HIV positive children and prevention infection among adolescents and young people. With this last area representing many common UNICEF/CBMP targets, the two entities agreed on two specific outcomes with the first being to conduct an audience recall survey of CBMP campaigns to date – to provide hard data that would not only inform future activity but give a clear indication of how the campaigns have been received among the target audiences. Ms. Hickling noted that this feedback was critical especially among adolescents who are most at risk because thus far other HIV messaging has not been as successful as was projected in reducing the behaviours that come as rites of passage among adolescents: sexual experimentation and high risk behaviours among multiple sexual partners.
"The Recall findings point very clearly to the fact that the CBMP has made remarkable inroads with campaigns that depend on free airtime. The findings also point to the challenges that I was talking about earlier in terms of the actual changing of behavior and how far we can go in the media to actually influence behavior at the end of the day. What the research that Dr. White did has told us very clearly is that young people want the LIVE UP campaign to continue, they also want it to evolve to meet their needs. Let us continue to be guided by their voices and their views" she stated
The opening ceremony of the CBMP Media Leaders Summit featured a starring lineup of personnel from the support mechanism that gives the Partnership the support needed to do its work. Through the comments of the featured speakers, the opening ceremony was a slick combination of inspiring words and multi-media packages which catalogued the growth of the charity from its genesis at the inaugural summit in 2006 – with 30 broadcasters in 20 countries – to the launch of the new LIVE UP Campaign and the announcement of new partnerships and appointments.
Dr. Carol Jacobs, Chair of the CBMP, welcomed the distinguished group at the Amaryllis Hotel on Barbados' south coast by demonstrating the diversity and multi-sectoral engagements that the CBMP represents. Representatives from the Barbados Evangelical Association, National HIV/AIDS Commission, Caribbean Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (CRN+); Caribbean Vulnerable Communities; PANCAP, the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Scotiabank and UNWomen, UNESCO, NGOs among others were heartened by the statistics that showed that HIV related deaths and infections are significantly reduced in the Caribbean since 2001, because of increased access to Anti-Retroviral Treatment. Dr. Jacobs however cautioned against a feeling that there could be a relaxing of our efforts. She reminded the gathering that there is still a high rate of infection in the region among the Most At Risk Populations (MARPS) and asked everyone to focus on that fact during summit discussions.
A WAD MESSAGE FROM UNAIDS - THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA
The media has long been accepted as one of the most powerful influencers today and for his WAD message, Dr. Ernest Massiah, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team in the Caribbean, stressed the importance of the understanding that there is a need for a change in its messaging after 20 years of responding to HIV in the region.
"I think the media needs to start looking, not at the messages of before, where we couldn't solve the issues of HIV/AIDS; where we thinking about death. The message this time needs to be that there is treatment available that can really stop the tide of HIV/AIDS" he stated.
Dr. Massiah noted that this World AIDS Day is different from before because the underlying message is no longer about equating HIV/AIDS with death or issues of what treatments or types of prevention can work but instead the discussion has moved to a more hope centric space.
"We have had 20 years of experience and we are looking at a generation free. We are looking at a situation where no child in the Caribbean should be born HIV positive so it's a World AIDS Day of hope, of experience and optimism and I think a sense of a Caribbean coming together to do something to show the world what it is capable of doing" He noted.
Dr. Massiah was quick to praise the efforts of the CBMP in helping to rally the media in its HIV response. "I think what CBMP has been able to do is to take a media that 20 years ago was focusing on the sensationalized stories, the scandal, the drama and been able to turn that around to say 'how do we start looking at a disease in a different way? How do we start looking at it as about people and about securing our Caribbean and also too about the role the media must play in the development of the people; how does the media support a people and its development? CBMP has done an amazing job in changing a perception and moving the region forward."
GREETINGS FROM PANCAP
As CARICOM's regional coordinating body for HIV/AIDS response, PANCAP's support and endorsement of the CBMP is critical if we are to have a united response to HIV in the region which is a goal of the CBMP. Newly Appointed Director Juliet Bynoe-Sutherland commended the Partnership for five years of tireless efforts through its membership and their programming to keep the mandate of the CBMP alive in the public consciousness.
As one of our most valued partners PANCAP's targets are inextricably intertwined with the work of the CBMP. Mrs. Bynoe Sutherland took the opportunity of the Executive Summit to reiterate PANCAP's updated targets as of 2010 – the Caribbean being first region to eliminate the mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 2015; increasing access to anti-retroviral treatment by 80% by 2015 and protecting human rights, especially among the most at risk populations.
Mrs. Bynoe-Sutherland also spoke about the importance of the correct messaging and how damaging ineffective messaging can be. She challenged the media leaders to 'call out' their colleagues who perpetuate HIV/AIDS messages that are retroactive and factually incorrect and applauded those who have carefully and thoughtfully committed to using their establishments to disseminate effective and accurate HIV messaging. Reiterating that the media is at the forefront of achieving PANCAP's targets, some of them through its partnership with the CBMP, she urged the gathering to continue its sterling work and encouraged them to engage social media & marketing tools as the next armament in the revolution to meet our targets by 2015.__________________________________________________________________________________________________
LIVE UP HALL OF FAME
Homework by a kerosene lamp; traversing the tiny Grenadine island of Canouan on the back of a donkey; graduate of the school of 'hard knocks'; firm belief in the responsibility that comes with privilege… this is Adonal Foyle. From these humble beginnings the affable gentle giant has been inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and COSIDA's Academic All-American Hall of Fame, been voted the NBA Most Valuable Player while with the Orlando Magic and formed two charitable foundations geared towards empowering young people. And he's not done yet.
In a year when CBMP is harnessing the immense power and influence of sporting heroes, it was more than a little persistence and a large stroke of fortune that brought the LIVE UP Campaign and Adonal Foyle together in a near-perfect synergy. His address to the members during the Summit was a sometimes emotional, other times a starkly realistic opinion piece on what truly gets through to young people but always thoughtful, reflective and inspiring.
Emphasizing that salt-of-the-earth hard work was at the core of the Caribbean work ethic, which should be celebrated and cultivated as part of a broader mission to keep young people engaged to make the right behavioral choices – a concept which is at the heart of the LIVE UP Campaign.
In an address which was peppered with inspirational quotes and anecdotal references to the lessons from his childhood, Adonal Foyle drove home the point that sport is a great mechanism for pointing out the values that young people should emulate. He soberly admitted that he knows up to ten people who are infected or affected by HIV & AIDS and as the leader of a charity designed to motivate and inspire young people, he challenged the gathering to fight for the young people who will grow into the leaders of the next generation because we are all much more connected than we think. 'The 'six degrees of separation' theory is gone', he said. 'According to Facebook its now four'. Adonal Foyle said we need to fight to the death for the souls of our young people, to let them know we will never abandon them and we will keep them safe: Somehow we at Live Wire believe him. Welcome on board!
The mission of the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KLF) is to empower youth to grow into healthy and well-educated adults. KLF uses basketball as a bridge to the next generation, promoting education and health awareness, providing free Athletics & Academics camps, mentoring at-risk student-athletes and building/refurbishing basketball courts. To date KLF has directly reached over 5000 children in the Caribbean and USA.