Yet another large-scale community project undertaken by Limkokwing in the name of advancing society was the HIV/AIDS Youth Awareness campaign. It was believed to be the first of its kind developed specifically for youths between the ages of 15 and 24.
The initiative done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was themed “Protect Yourself, Protect Your Dreams”. According to Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, the campaign was particularly meaningful and timely as HIV/AIDS is reaching pandemic proportions in the developing world, with its highest infection rate among heterosexual youth.
According to statistics, five young adults are infected by the disease every 60 seconds and 50% of new cases involved girls between 15 and 24. More disturbing are such revelations as nine out of 10 infected people being unaware of their condition and how it can take up to a decade before a person discovers he has the disease. In Malaysia, 80% of reported HIV cases involved those between 20 and 39, and today, the disease is the world’s fourth biggest killer.
The campaign comprised print, TV and radio public service messages which featured startling facts about the disease in relation to youth. It also included a theme song, Let’s Make a Difference, as well as a three-minute MTV-style video.
It was deliberately designed to be easily adaptable for worldwide use, and is in fact, being used by UNDP in its international communication and awareness efforts.
The campaign was launched by Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Ong Tee Keat. Also present was UNDP Regional Representative Dr Maxine Olson and various NGOs involved in HIV/AIDS related work.
Datuk Ong was understandably proud that Malaysia was taking the lead in producing a campaign for youth in the developing world, saying, “As a developing country, Malaysia clearly understands the mindsets, concerns and threats HIV/AIDS poses to youth in developing countries.”
“Our demographics mirror that of most other developing countries clearly and intimately understands the mindset, concerns and threats HIV/AIDS poses. We also understand the sensitivities related to communicating HIV/AIDS information in a multi-religious country.”
Tan Sri Lim revealed that his students took over a year collecting research materials, interviewing young and designing the campaign.
Limkokwing, he said, is well-equipped to prepare a global campaign for young people as the university campus has students from all over the world (the student population is nearly 4,000 from 52 countries). “Students from, say, Botswana, were able to share their thoughts as were students from China. It’s interesting to note the different views from young people from different countries.”
Copyright © 2013 Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing. All Right Reserved.
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