Youths af­fected by AIDS thank­ful to Peng

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­

First lady Peng Liyuan got a warm wel­come on Sun­day from dozens of stu­dents at­tend­ing a sum­mer camp in Bei­jing for young­sters af­fected by HIV/AIDS.

Peng, long ac­tive in HIV/ AIDS pre­ven­tion and other health mat­ters, was greeted as “Mother Peng” by Yaoyao, 18, a stu­dent from Shanxi prov­ince, at the Love in the Sun camp’s open­ing cer­e­mony.

The af­fec­tion­ate name also was used by Yaoyao’s 14 class­mates at­tend­ing the camp from Lin­fen Red Rib­bon School, the only school in China ex­clu­sively for chil­dren or­phaned or af­fected by HIV/ AIDS. She has made sev­eral vis­its to the school.

Yaoyao, on be­half of her school­mates, ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Peng for her long-term con­cern and sup­port for chil­dren af­fected by the epi­demic.

“We’ve grown up and will keep try­ing to be­come bet­ter peo­ple no mat­ter what,” she said.

At the five-day camp in Bei­jing, lec­tures to help the Lin­fen stu­dents get ready for univer­sity life and stud­ies will be held along­side sight­see­ing and team build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, said Guo Xiaop­ing, the school’s prin­ci­pal.

At the cer­e­mony, Peng said so­ci­ety as a whole is re­spon­si­ble for sup­port­ing chil­dren fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. Many of the stu­dents knew Peng well — her ef­forts in pro­mot­ing public health, par­tic­u­larly HIV/AIDS in­ter­ven­tion, date back at least 10 years.

Also at­tend­ing the event was Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, named for the co-founder of Mi­crosoft and his wife. The event saw the sign­ing of a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween the foun­da­tion and the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. The foun­da­tion pledged a do­na­tion of $16.5 mil­lion to help China to com­bat poverty and the AIDS epi­demic.

Dozens of other AIDS-im­pacted chil­dren from Sichuan prov­ince and the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion also are at­tend­ing the camp. The sum­mer camp is an an­nual event since 2010 held by the Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion of STD and AIDS Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol. It aims to raise public aware­ness and al­lo­cate more sup­port for chil­dren af­fected by HIV/AIDS.

Peng was ap­pointed as a WHO good­will am­bas­sador for tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and HIV/AIDS in 2011. In China, she be­came the health am­bas­sador for HIV/AIDS pre­ven­tion for the Min­istry of Health in Jan­uary 2006 and the na­tional am­bas­sador for TB con­trol and pre­ven­tion in March 2007.


First lady Peng Liyuan greets stu­dents at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Love in the Sun sum­mer camp in Bei­jing for young­sters af­fected by HIV/AIDS. They ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Peng’s long­time sup­port.

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