Red Ribbon Award 2010: Exceptional community AIDS leaders and activists recognized
22 July 2010
A ceremony to celebrate the 25 winners of the 2010 Red Ribbon Award was held in Vienna 21 July, with a host of global AIDS leaders joining the award winners and some 250 guests. The award event, which included a formal gala dinner, took place during the XVIII International AIDS Conference. Mr Jeffrey O’Malley, Director of HIV/AIDS Practice at the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), filled the role of Master of Ceremonies and Ms Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations Branch, addressed the ceremony on behalf of the Executive Director.
Ms Beagle paid tribute to this year’s winners and the wider community who play a key role in making a difference.
“The AIDS response counts on community organizations. The Red Ribbon Award is one of the rare opportunities we have for celebrating those exceptional organizations and individuals," said Ms Beagle. "The twenty-five organizations we are celebrating tonight are making an essential contribution to reaching our vision: Zero! zero! zero!"
The winners, representing a broad range of community-based organizations from 17 countries, were recognized for their outstanding work in reducing the spread and impact of AIDS. The Red Ribbon Award, named after the vivid symbol of the global response to the epidemic, is a joint effort of the UNAIDS family and is hosted by UNDP.
Chosen for their remarkable efforts in innovation, creativity, impact, sustainability and leadership, each winner receives a cash award and international acknowledgement of their contribution to the strengthening of the AIDS response.
Six special recognition winners were announced during the ceremony, one for each of five 2010 award categories and one extraordinary winner:
- Ensuring that people living with HIV receive treatment
Winner: Penitentiary Initiative, Ukraine
- Supporting HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes for people who use drugs
Winner: Spin Plus, Tajikistan
- Supporting human rights
Winner: Nikat, Ethiopia
- Stopping violence against women and girls and promoting gender equality
Winner: POWA, Belize
- Enhancing social support for those affected by HIV, including orphans and vulnerable children
Winner: Widows, orphans and people living with HIV (WOPHA), Sudan
An exceptional award was also given:
- AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals
Winner: NAIRN, Thailand
Leaders of the global AIDS response taking part in the ceremony included, Prof Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Ms Elizabeth Mataka, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for AIDS in Africa; Ms Svetlana Izambaeva, Russian activist and advocate, giving the key note address; and Ms Anandi Yuvaraj, Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW).
Out of 720 nominations from over 100 countries, the winners were selected by a Technical Review Committee of civil society representatives who are experts in the community response to HIV.
According to Jeffrey O’Malley, “These organizations clearly demonstrate that effective responses to the epidemic require the full participation of front-line, community-based groups. Community groups recognise that AIDS is one of many issues that are tied together. They understand that AIDS requires an exceptional response but they also understand that you need to link AIDS to broader issues of health, development and justice to be effective.”