Since 1995, the first of December has been designated World AIDS Day, dedicated to AIDS awareness. For the last six of those years, a small nonprofit group, Artists For Charity, (AFC) has used World Aids Day to raise funds, and bring attention to the AFC Children’s Home in Ethiopia, which provides a safe nurturing environment for HIV positive orphans. This Saturday, Artists For Charity will hold its sixth annual art auction at the District Architecture Center in Washington DC.
Artists for Charity introduces themselves on their website as a group “comprised of artists and volunteers from all over the world who donate our time, passion, sweat, creativity, and artwork for the sake of change. Some of us paint; some of us write; some of us are not even artists. But all of us believe that there is no such thing as a small act of compassion. Dedicated people, united and working together, can change the world, one child at a time.”
The United Nations estimates there are a million HIV positive people in Ethiopia and 100,000 of those infected are between the ages of birth and 14 years. Another 650,000 children have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. It was the most vulnerable of these children the AFC sought to help; children who were HIV positive and had lost both parents. These were “throwaway” children, no other agency was willing to use their scarce resources on. Today, AFC boasts all of the children in the AFC Home are healthy, (dealing medically with their HIV status) and thriving. They just sent their first child to college. The group has also expanded their outreach to HIV children in the surrounding community.
The art auction to support the AFC Home will feature work from both US and international artists. It will also include original artwork from the children themselves. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door, but if you are not in the DC area, you will also be able to bid on auction items online.
You can learn more about the work Artists For Charity does saving HIV positive orphans in the video below.
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