Other Pages:


positively AFRICA, and the projects we support, have received a lot of media attention over the years. You'll find a sampling on this page.

Excepted from The Positive Side

Hope and Dignity: a recent story about Peggy Frank, positively AFRICA founder

HIV has not extinguished these cherished values in Peggy Frank of Victoria. On the contrary, even after more than 20 years, she continues to nourish them in herself and in her HIV-positive sisters and brothers in Africa.

The Positive Side
Published: SUMMER 2011, Volume 13 Issue 1

THE YEAR WAS 1987 and I was a 33-year-old graduate student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. With the international development charity World University Services of Canada (WUSC) I had travelled to Zimbabwe—once referred to as the “Jewel of Africa” because of its social policies and economic prosperity at the time. There, the earth smelled warm, the sky shone blue and every turn in the road held surprises.

In a country that was seven years independent, I witnessed the complexities of development: the human need for housing, education and jobs and the challenges facing rural farming populations colonized into poverty. The excitement and optimism of the country’s people seduced me into remaining behind when the other students headed back to Canada. I hoped to study land-use planning in the romantic Zambezi Valley in the north of the country.

For the next five months, I wandered northern Zimbabwe, sailed in parasite—and crocodile-infested waters with a Zimbabwean sweetie, danced to African drums, proudly delivered a young Tonga mother’s baby in the belly of a boat in the Kariba District, and gagged on goat intestine at a meeting about rural community realities. I was treated to African hospitality and embraced by University of Zimbabwe professors, who assured me that my research was needed.

Upon returning to Canada, I asked to be “tested for everything.” My doctor’s phone call to the university common room informing me of my new ‘status’ was a shock. As I put down the receiver, my hopes for a future as a development worker seemed dashed. I took the bus home to lie in bed and die.

Read the entire article »

Photo: Sharon Channer


Excepted from the Times Colonist Newspaper

From despair to dignity

In Rwanda, a bustling clinic propels women's recovery from rape, effects of genocide

Sarah Petrescu,
Times Colonist Published: Sunday, April 20, 2008

DOZENS OF WOMEN CHATTED while toddlers played and babies cried in the waiting room at the downtown Kigali health clinic run by the U.S.-based Women's Equity to Access for Care and Treatment,
or WE-ACTx.

The bustling, cheery atmosphere of the clinic contrasts with the grim reason it exists — to bring treatment and dignity to women raped and infected with the HIV virus during the country's 1994 genocide.

"We see about 100 patients every day at this clinic," said Joseph Hakizimana, 29, the organization's country clinical co-ordinator and one of its founding employees. With three clinics and two mobile units, they serve almost 5,000, nearly half of those receiving free, life-saving, anti-retroviral medication. "We can still do more, especially in the rural areas where women and men don't even know to get tested."

Read the entire article »

Photo: Friends Maria Bahizi, left, and Miriam Jean work on colourful items for sale
at the We-Actx clinic in Kigali. The work initiative is a project of the clinic
that helps women dealing with HIV : Sarah Petrescu, Times Colonist


Excepted from Common Ground Magazine

Finding happiness in the slums of Kibera

Maia Green,
Published: Common Ground, July 2008

CHILDREN ARE AMAZING CREATURES. Mini versions of you and I, they have all the same bits and brains, but they’re not yet jaded in the same way. They don’t harbour the same cynicism towards the world. Rather, they possess an amazing love for life, a contagious positiveness that leads to hope and creativity, the very qualities we need in order to move towards creating a better world.

A few years ago, I journeyed to Kenya to take part in the UN Climate Change negotiations, and, while there, my eyes were opened to much more than environmental issues. My experience with the climate negotiations was certainly packed with learning, but the time I spent at a school in the depths of Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, taught me much more and impacted me in a way that changed me forever.

Read the entire article »