On February 8, 2006, over one hundred Laurier students will come together to raise money for the “Bike for AIDS” program, which provides bicycle ambulances to small, AIDS-affected communities in Malawi, Africa. These bicycles are desperately needed, not only for transportation of AIDS patients who seek medical care, but also to aid volunteers who often spend 80-90% of their time simply walking to and from their volunteer destination.
Students involved in the “Bike for AIDS” program will participate in a 24-hour Bike-A-Thon on the Laurier campus. Each team of twelve will be required to make a team donation of at least $500 towards the program, and be responsible for rotating in increments on a stationary bicycle for twenty four hours. Other portions of the project include benefit concerts on February 4 and February 11 at Wilf’s, an awareness campaign the week prior to the Bike-A-Thon, and a raffle to take place during the Bike-A-Thon. Teams from many campus clubs such as the Global Studies Club and LSPIRG, WLUSU and a fraternity/sorority team will be participating in the Bike-A-Thon.
Following October’s Make Poverty History campaign at WLU, many students were worried that the Wrap it in White Day would be the sole focus for the campaign, and that efforts to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals would not be continued throughout the year. However, the upcoming Bike for AIDS fundraiser proves that these concerns are unfounded.
The Bike for AIDS campaign is a project headed by the WUSC (World University Service of Canada) chapter at Laurier and Uniterra. It focuses on raising awareness for Millennium Development goal six, which is to combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Laurier students form various faculties have all demonstrated an aptitude for activism, by supporting fundraisers such as this one. Still, there are some who would question why we are fundraisers for Malawi, a place “way over there”. The reality is that we are all connected in this world, and have a responsibility to help the less fortunate. AIDS is not just a problem “over there.” At the end of 2002, The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimated that there were 56,000 people living with HIV in Canada, a third of which were undiagnosed.
The AIDS virus affects us all in one way or another, and it’s about time we stop ignoring it. We need to unite and act, and stop the apathy in order to make this world a better place. This fundraiser is a step in that direction, making life a little easier for the AIDS victims in Malawi, and for the volunteer workers in our community. This local fundriaser s addressing the global problem of the AIDS epidemic. Honestly, how could you not help students fundraising for a good cause?