Dedicated to giving back to the community, Eugene Chrinian provides support to a number of charitable and nonprofit organizations working at home and abroad. One of the organizations that he supports is World Vision, a nonprofit that aims to protect and improve the lives of children around the world. One of the major goals of World Vision is to achieve better health outcomes among women and children with a special focus on major epidemics. Eugene Chrinian has donated specifically to support the organization’s efforts to end HIV/AIDS.
The Continuing Threat of HIV/AIDS in Africa
While significant progress has been made to halt HIV, a lot of work remains to be done, particularly in Africa, the continent with the worst epidemic of the disease. According to research, more than 1,000 adolescent girls and young women around the world are infected with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, three out of four new infections among adolescents involved girls. AIDS has become the leading cause of death for both girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 19.
UNAIDS has stated that women between the ages of 15 and 24 have become the “left behind” population in advancements in HIV prevention and treatment. The population accounted for 20 percent of total new infections around the world in 2015. The group remains particularly at risk due to a fundamental lack of knowledge about how to protect oneself against the virus. Also, gender inequality has made access to prevention and care services particularly difficult for girls and young women.
The Impact of World Vision in Sub-Saharan Africa
World Vision is devoted to ensuring that adolescent girls and young women are no longer a population “left behind.” The organization has sought to develop age-appropriate services for all individuals, including HIV prevention education, opportunities for building life skills and economic empowerment, and clinical care and treatment programs. In addition, the organization provides psychosocial support and ensures that the mental aspects of an HIV diagnosis are not left unaddressed. To handle social issues, World Vision has connected to faith and community leaders to discourage gender-based violence and combat the stigmas that prevent young girls from seeking the help they need.
Through these programs, World Vision has set the goal of ending the HIV epidemic—especially among young women and adolescent girls—by 2030. Luckily, World Vision is not working toward this goal on its own. The organization teamed with The Global Fund to speed up HIV elimination efforts in Angola and Malawi. In addition, the organization won the USAID DREAMS innovation challenge for combating HIV/AIDS among young women and girls.
How USAID is Making World Vision’s Goal Possible
The USAID DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) Initiative provides $385 million to partners to combat HIV/AIDS in key priority areas throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The region targeted by DREAMS accounts for nearly half of all new HIV infections among adolescent girls around the world. The program seeks to address several factors leading to girls’ vulnerability to HIV, including discriminatory cultural norms, school dropouts, economic disadvantages, and social isolation. In order to create effective programming to combat these issues, USAID launched the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, which sought service delivery solutions that would encourage employment, keep girls in school, and improve awareness of prophylaxis options.
Through winning the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, World Vision forged a beneficial new partnership with USAID that will help the organization to make an even greater impact in sub-Saharan Africa, which could also inform its other work in countries around the world. Funding from USAID, through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will provide HIV testing and counseling for hundreds of thousands of girls and young women, as well as educational subsidies for nearly 100,000 girls. In addition, nearly 700,000 young women will receive HIV prevention education in schools. Approximately 1.7 million young women and their partners will also have improved access to condoms.
World Vision’s Other Critical Health Care Initiatives
HIV is just one of the many global health issues tackled by World Vision. Each day, nearly 20,000 children die from preventable causes, a statistic that the organization finds untenable. Last year, the organization played a key role in eradicating the polio virus 2 as a serious threat. World Vision also engaged communities at risk of contracting Zika to provide education and protection. More than 10 million individuals around the world received malaria preventatives or treatment for the disease. The organization works in 14 of the 19 countries targeted by the US President’s Malaria Initiative and contributes to the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to reduce malaria deaths to near zero. To meet this goal, World Vision distributes insecticidal bed nets and helps train local health care workers on treatment, particularly for pregnant women and children.
World Vision makes a significant impact with the support of generous donors across the United States and the world. A gift of only $20 can help to support a child and his or her family by providing access to basic health care. In addition, a gift of $60 can fund the lifesaving medicine and supplies necessary to protect children. Through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, gifts earmarked for medicine are multiplied 12 times to provide the greatest global impact possible.