World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day and I thought I'd give a couple of shout-outs to people helping out.

A wonderful friend called Sarah Koch is a co-founder of an organization known as Development In Gardening which has a simple, Genius goal. They go into developing nations, find people groups affected by HIV/AIDS (or groups otherwise at risk), and teach them to garden. It's a modern day version of the whole teach-a-man-to-fish thing.

The deal is...these individuals with HIV/AIDS...the better they eat..the more nutrition they get, the better their body can fight the disease. Of course, there is the ironic relationship these particular people have: the good food and doctors they need, they have almost no access to. A ton of places DIG service are remote (REMOTE!) villages where the situation is even more dire. Myths and propaganda and religious pressures keep many of these people either ignorant to real solutions or cause them to be outcast from their community (often times just for HAVING the disease even if it wasn't their fault!).

DIG rolls in with tools, seeds, and a mission. They reach out to communities in need and teach them about the importance of nutrition and teach them how _they_ can help _themselves_ achieve it. They, DIG, empower the community to not only provide for themselves but teach even more people about how tangible a home or community garden can be!

It. Is. So. Simple.

Absolutely brilliant.

And they're just getting better at what they do. Sarah and Steve (the other co-founder) started this lovely project while working in Senegal for the Peace Corps and have now moved on to have projects in 7 countries—Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.

I had the privilege to travel to Uganda a while back (thanks to Simon Cyrene, a local design firm who took on DIG is a client) and meet so many of these lovely, thankful people.

Below are some of the persons DIG is impacting. Don't forget...You can help!

Above: Two Sarahs. One, a co-founder of DIG (right), and the other, DIG volunteer and beneficiary.

Another AIDS-related project I'd like to mention is called CARE For AIDS. I don't know a ton about this organization, but my friend Bob Miller has done some beautiful work for them in their mission to help those in Africa who suffer from AIDS. I've seen a lovely print piece he did with David Blumberg that I'd love to show you (but have no means to off hand) so instead I'll embed a video he also produced for them.

In whatever form it comes, I am happy to see help arriving for these people so in need. I bet there is a way we can all help more, even if we feel removed from a problem so many miles away.