Photo by David Barbour

In your community

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It’s time to put the AIDS pandemic back on the agenda

In July 2012, more than 100 countries gathered for the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. There were few news stories in Canadian media about the conference – as if the AIDS pandemic was all but over. Sadly this is far from true. There are 34 million people currently living with HIV worldwide and across sub-Saharan Africa, countries with the least access to global resources now support more than 50% of the global response to HIV and AIDS.

And so, while AIDS has fallen off the global radar, African community-based organizations continue to stand together to break the stranglehold of silence and stigma, and provide essential health, educational and psycho-social support to people living with HIV and AIDS.

They can lead the way, but they cannot do it alone. That’s why we’re calling on Canadians to put the AIDS pandemic back on the agenda in their schools, faith groups, workplaces, and broader communities, and raise funds for the Foundation’s work with organizations at the grassroots in Africa.

Together, we can put the AIDS pandemic back on the agenda, and re-ignite the concern of all Canadians.

Give a Day to World AIDS

Give a Day logo

Give a Day is a grassroots Canadian movement. Since 2004, Give a Day has challenged Canadians to recognize World AIDS Day (December 1) by giving a day’s pay to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Dignitas International. Funds go to African grassroots organizations working at the frontlines of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Contributions to the campaign are crucial in order to continue the life-saving work that is happening on the ground. Reduced international funding for HIV/AIDS means that people in sub-Saharan Africa are turning to community-based organizations for support. By contributing to Give a Day, you will ensure that children can go to school, women can access treatment and counselling, and grandmothers can thrive and advocate for their rights.

This World AIDS Day, please consider giving a day’s pay to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. To find out more and donate, visit

Left photo by Megan Boyd; right photo by Henry Wise Wood Senior High School

Megan from Ashbury College in Ottawa did a dare a day for two weeks, including putting on an art show. Students at Henry Wise Wood Senior High in Calgary dared their classmates to give up their favourite beverage for a day and donate the cost of the drink to the Dare Campaign.

Schools: Learn, mobilize, act

A year ago, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched a partnership “to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic in Africa, and give students opportunities for engagement and involvement.” In that spirit, a team of educators from the TDSB developed social justice and AIDS-awareness lessons for elementary and secondary students. The TDSB has generously made these lessons widely available. You can find them online at

Curriculum is one important part of outreach to schools. But after learning about the HIV and AIDS pandemic, students often ask how they can help. So, in the week leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1, we’re inviting schools to participate in a World AIDS Day dare.

To learn more, register your dare and download materials, visit our website at

What’s your dare?

Dare Campaign logo

Over the last three years, thousands of Canadians have taken on personal challenges and raised funds to support grassroots organizations in Africa that are turning the tide of the AIDS pandemic in their communities. Dare 2012 is here, it’s happening, and it’s all year long! Here are some great recent dares.

The folks who brought you Dare to Drum are back channeling their artistic side. Bunch Family dared kids and parents alike to draw a picture a day for 30 days. Check out to see their work.

Discovery Channel’s Andrew Younghusband decided to turn his vacation into a four-month, 12,000 km bike trip with the Tour d’Afrique. In his words, “only good things can come from donating to this charity, and there ain’t nothing wrong with good things.”

Students and professors at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, are Dare Campaign alumni. For the third year in a row, they took on a variety of dares, including a December polar dip and a student vs teacher trivia night.

To learn more and get involved, visit the schools section of the Dare website.

School dare ideas

  • Dare to wear red: For a whole week. And not just a bracelet, pin or socks that no one will see. Be boldly red.
  • Dare to connect for 24 hours: Stay at school all day and night and use the time to design t-shirts, produce a video or create a piece of art to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic.
  • Dare to turn off your cell phone for a day or a week: This might be the hardest dare of all!

Get involved!

Here are some ways to put AIDS back on the agenda and support the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners on the frontlines of the pandemic in Africa:

  • In your school: Students can organize a World AIDS Day dare, and teachers can integrate the AIDS-awareness curriculum into their class.
  • In your faith community: Hold a World AIDS Day service to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and the work of grassroots organizations in Africa. The service can be held in the days before or after December 1. We have outreach materials available, including bulletin inserts and posters. For more information, visit
  • At work: Organize a workplace dare, or encourage your co-workers to take part in the Give a Day campaign.

Next: Financial overview >>

Previous: << Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign


LGBTIQ organizations in Africa reporting human rights abuses linked to COVID-19 May 19, 2020

Stephen Lewis Foundation / Canada, Press release

World will survive COVID-19 only if 'swift action' taken to help Africa, UN humanitarian says March 25, 2020

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