Workshop Focuses on AIDS
Children orphaned by HIV and AIDS were the subject of the inaugural Global Engagement Workshop held on campus Sept. 23. The student-led workshop brought together a team of about 70 students and faculty united in education, research and advocacy towards a common goal.
The workshop featured a keynote talk by Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik, one of the first doctors in Guelph to provide care to HIV/AIDS patients. She is also the founder and director of the Masai Centre for Local, Regional and Global Health.
The day included discussions led by students, professors and researchers on youth and HIV/AIDS, approaches to the AIDS orphan crisis, barriers to HIV/AIDS prevention, volunteer opportunities and the state of HIV/AIDS in Canada. Officials from World University Service of Canada also participated.
"Our goal was to bring together a multidisciplinary team of scholars with great minds and a passion for international issues," says Prof. Alan Shepard, associate vice-president (academic), whose office sponsored the event.
The intent was to provide an exchange of information, skills, resources and knowledge that would allow participants to advance their collective responses towards finding solutions, he says. In addition, organizers hope the gathering will lead to more advocacy initiatives and to the building of partnerships among students, faculty and alumni.
"The Global Engagement Workshop will now be an annual U of G event," Shepard says. "It's rooted firmly in the vision that Guelph can be a leader in international inquiry, dialogue, action and accountability."