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Historic Global Vigil for Aids Orphans Ends in New York City

Contact: Laura Cusumano Blank, 646-245-2496, lblank@worldvision.org; Amy Parodi, 253-709-3190, aparodi@worldvision.org; both with World Vision
                       
MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following advisory is released by World Vision:

• New York joins 17 cities around the world speaking out for children affected by AIDS
• New research study: Surprisingly high percentage admit knowing little about pandemic

WHAT:  
AIDS activists, musicians, students and families gather to mark the end of the 24-hour global AIDS vigil and remember the thousands of children orphaned by the pandemic.

WHEN: 
Friday, November 30 from 7-9 a.m.

WHERE:  
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 West 55th Street (between 5th – 6th Avenues)

WHO: 
Participants at the vigil include:
• The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Christian artists Shane & Shane
• Bwalya Melu, program specialist for World Vision, who has lost three siblings and their wives to AIDS in Zambia
• Children, families, and college students to read the names of AIDS orphans

WHY:  
Every day, an estimated 6,000 children lose a parent to AIDS.  To raise awareness about the plight of these children, World Vision is hosting the first-ever global AIDS vigil.  In a new global research study, to be released on November 29, a surprisingly high percentage of people surveyed admitted knowing little or nothing about the pandemic—making awareness building an even higher priority for combating global AIDS.

The vigil will begin in Toronto, Canada at 9 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 29 and continue westward in 17 cities around the world, concluding in New York City at 9 a.m. EST on Friday, November 30.

During each event, participants will read the names of some 350 children who have lost a parent to AIDS or related illnesses.  As the event moves around the globe, the cumulative number of names read will grow until, at the final event in New York City, the last of 6,000 names will be read, symbolizing the number of children who will have lost a parent to AIDS and related illnesses that day.

NOTE:  B-roll and photographs illustrating the international AIDS crisis and footage from vigil events in Chicago, San Salvador, Delhi, Nairobi and other cities will be available. 

After the vigil, participants will be building 300 AIDS caregiver kits to send to caregivers in Africa.  An assembly line will be set up at the church for volunteers to put together these orange plastic kits with essential supplies like cotton balls, antibacterial soap and gloves. World Vision partners with community leaders to train and equip caregivers who visit AIDS patients by sending them kits like these.

For more information on World Vision’s Global AIDS Attitudes research study, contact Gardi Wilks at 708-366-8389 or Rachel Wolff at 253-394-2214, or visit www.worldvision.org/press.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.