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The International Humana People to People Movement
by Pippa H
The World Summit on Sustainable Development
source: iNetNews

Pippa and Robyn on the bus to NASREC
Photo: Mandy Paton-Ash
Johannesburg, South Africa •• Aug. 31, 2002 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service ••
Editor's note: The founder of Humana People to People Movement, Mr Amdi Petersen, was recently arrested in Los Angeles and is currently facing trial in Denmark on £15m fraud charges. For more information, see http://www.tvindalert.org.uk.

One of the few stands at NASREC that catches one’s eye is The International Humana People to People Movement. This stand sticks out not only because it is interesting to look at but because the helpers running the store are friendly and out-going. Masie Mojela, the liaison officer caught me as I strolled past and, after a good fifteen-minute chat, had managed to persuade me to write an article on his movement (although with the help of the display and pamphlets it didn’t take much to get me interested).

The Humana People to People Movement started in Denmark in 1977. It consists of 29 development organisations which together work in 36 countries on 5 continents. It employs more then 5000 people worldwide, with more than 350 000 participants benefiting from the 150 projects based on The Solidarity Humanism. The programs are long-term sustainable ones and concentrate on creating development through projects in a wide range of areas such as education, child aid, relief aid, community development and agricultural training. Also included is income generating activities such as collection, distribution and sale of second hand clothes.

The development work done by The International Humana People to People Movement is done in projects which are formed when an agreement occurs between a party that is in need and a party wishing to supply help. The projects are not very specific as the movement does not like to focus on a single chosen sector but rather on a broad span of activities with a variety of content. A project leader, who is employed to be the consistent representative of the program, runs each project. They also organize the employees, volunteers and activists within their project. Another way projects are formed are when development is not possible and human survival is threatened. A good example of this are the programs developed to combat HIV/AIDS, which were formed when members working in the townships realized it’s devastating consequences.

Two projects linked to HIV/AIDS are TEC (Total Control of the Epidemic) and DAPP (Development Aid from People to People). TEC aims to reach every single individual in areas of 100 000 people with information, education and mobilization to take control of HIV/AIDS. It was initially started in Zimbabwe in 2000 and is based on the idea that only people can liberate themselves from the epidemic. It has field officers who are responsible for reaching and mobilizing an area of 2000 people. Its point of entry is the communities themselves whilst the District Local Government provides coordination and guidance and the Chiefs and Headmen promote and facilitate. DAPP’s objectives are to give the whole community basic information about HIV/AIDS, guide people to protect themselves and promote assistance to those who are already infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. By educating the community they aim to eliminate further infection of the community and abolish discrimination of those infected. Their main development projects are heath education, lifeskills, awareness campaigns, home based care, support groups and a Children of the Future Program. They hope to promote solidary-humanism amongst people by creating jobs and giving as many people access to participate in the development of their own country.

This movement impressed me because of its ability to be a global organization but focus on broad issues affecting specific communities. Their HIV/AIDS programs are especially important for Southern Africa today. And if their employees and volunteers are all as enthusiastic and helpful as Masie Mojela, I am sure they will go far.

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