To view pictures set to music of the breakfast, click here
January 4, 2011
By Jason Misner
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, HSDB STAFF
More than 300 New Central Public School students and their families recently came for a pancake breakfast and left with full bellies and important information about how to help communities deal with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS.
On December 1, Oakville's New Central hosted its 4th annual Wake Up To Aids pancake breakfast in support of World Aids Day. Denny’s and Jubilee Fruit Market sponsored the breakfast.
Proceeds from the New Central breakfast – totalling $1,435 – will be donated to $Million or More Oakville ($MOMO) to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
New Central students talked to the crowd about the difficulty of living with HIV/AIDS and the tens of millions of people around the world infected with the disease. They talked about how young children are having to take care of each other because their parents have passed on.
Helping people is key for New Central as the breakfast is just one of numerous initiatives the school is using to turn students into global citizens through critical literacy teachings, said Principal Merill Mathews. It asks the question, “what is a hero, what does courage mean?” he said. It reinforces the school motto, ‘Look after yourself, look after one another’.
For example, New Central, through the Me to We organization, is trying to raise $8,500 to help build a school in Kenya.
Heather Roy, co-chair of the New Central parent council, said the breakfast – which addressed the HIV/AIDS topic sensitively – was important to continue the school’s initiative of social awareness. She hopes it helps students understand people better. “It’s a way of allowing the kids to learn about a place outside of where we are,” she said. “They learn what’s happening in other places in the world and they can make a difference in making things better. It gives children perspective…These kids have the ability to do so much.”
According to the World Aids Day website, more than 33 million people live with HIV worldwide.
Recognizing the impact HIV/AIDS has on many countries, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, which seeks to build solidarity, raise awareness and mobilize support in Canada for Africa's grandmothers, gave a presentation during the breakfast. The group, launched by the Stephen Lewis Foundation, discussed local members visiting Africa this past spring to attend an international gathering of grandmothers.
Some 240 groups of Canadian grandmothers have taken up the call to action, with the campaign having raised more than $10 million for African grandmothers and the children of HIV/AIDS parents in their care.