CARICOM Press Release
(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Guyana-based Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) was honoured with the 2014 Red Ribbon Award for Advocacy and Human Rights at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, July 20, 2014.
The Red Ribbon Award is the world’s leading award for innovative and outstanding community work in the response to the HIV epidemic. The prestigious award was received by Mr. Joel Simpson, Co-chair and Managing Director and Ms Shellon Providence, Member of SASOD.
Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) Coordinating Unit Mr. Dereck Springer witnessed the presentation. Advancing Health and Wellness is among the CARICOM Secretary General’s Top Priorities for focused attention across the Caribbean Community over the next five years. This, under the Caribbean Community’s five year Strategic Plan (2015-2019), designed to improve the quality of life for citizens in the region through concrete action on matters of direct relevance and benefit to all.
SASOD, dedicated to the eradication of homophobia in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean, has worked to repeal discriminatory Guyanese laws; change local attitudes about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; and end discrimination in the government, workplace and community.
Nine other community-based organisations that have shown outstanding community leadership and action on AIDS were also honoured in five categories (prevention of sexual transmission, prevention among/by people who use drugs, treatment, care and support, advocacy and human rights, and topping new HIV infections in children and keeping mothers alive).
The selected community organisations will benefit from international visibility, and each recipient of the award received a US$10,000 grant to expand their capacities and to improve their quality of service further.
Apart from Mr. Springer, other Caribbean delegates present were Dr. Shanti Singh, Director, National AIDS Programme (Guyana) and Mr. Ian McKnight former Executive Director, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition.