To mark #16DaysofActivism, we're shining a spotlight on inspirational youth activists worldwide! Our latest activist is Christina Berry-Moorcroft, a member of Youth Stop Aids - a group of young people based in the UK who campaign tirelessly to help bring an end to HIV/AIDS.
I'm a campaigner with and Steering Committee member of Youth Stop AIDS. We are a group of young activists, housed by Restless Development and Stop AIDS who are committed to seeing an end to AIDS by 2030.
Within this overarching goal we have other targets like zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero stigma and discrimination. We want peoples’ health to be seen as a priority by those in power, treatment for everyone with HIV/AIDS and increased global awareness and education.
As a network our approach is to organise locally to increase public awareness of the problems around HIV and AIDS, to lobby decision makers such as MP’s and to take direct action: from marches to flash mobs we know how to be heard and have fun doing so!
Throughout university I volunteered with different poverty alleviation and social justice organisations, I was searching for a way to have meaningful impact on the issues I feel passionate about. Following university I found Restless Development and went on to work in Uganda and Zambia, as well as the UK, with them.
Whilst working in Africa I found myself confronted by the reality of the AIDS pandemic for probably the first time in my life. In the UK, people living with HIV and AIDS have access to treatment and through education and campaigning we are seeing a decline in stigma and discrimination, however this is not the case globally.
Seeing how much of a different story it was in the Sub Saharan African communities I lived in was both enlightening and confronting. The people I encountered continue to motivate me, many grass roots organisations and groups are doing all they can to influence change, despite the scales all too often not being balanced in their favour. Their resilience, passion and unconquerable belief that they will beat AIDS pushes me to do all I can to support them.
With Youth Stop AIDS I found a group here in the UK who shared the same determination to see access to medicines for all and to champion human rights. Being surrounded by talented and trailblazing young people is a constant source of inspiration.
As a young activist who is determined to create a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world, I’m just one part of a huge global network of active young citizens. Half of the world’s population are young people, in fact we are at peak youth and I believe that not only do we have an obligation to use our combined power to influence change but that we are best placed to do so.
Young activists are smart, they listen and learn, they’re creative and innovative, they’re making themselves heard and they’re creating change all over the world. I am proud to be a part of that. If you feel passionate about something, you can make a difference and of course, if what you’re passionate about is global health and human rights, you’re always welcome in the Youth Stop AIDS family!
Find out about Missing Medicines, the latest campaign from Youth Stop Aids.
Youth Stop AIDS are currently recruiting - check out the video below to find out more...
Catch up with the rest of our #16Days series here.