Local pupil to speak at London conference

2008-05-14 00:00

A grade 12 pupil from Eastwood Secondary School will be jetting off to London this Saturday on an all-expenses-paid trip, courtesy of Abbott Labs, to take part in their annual conference. She will be one of the guest speakers.

Philile Mbanjwa (17), a resident of Edendale, will be speaking about what it’s like living around people affected with the HIV/Aids epidemic.

She said she feels like an ambassador and is grateful for the opportunity to be an inspiration, not only for her school, but for the South African youth as a whole.

“Our country has a high prevalence of HIV/Aids, especially among the ages of 18 to 24, which is our age group. We have many child-headed households or children who have to care for their parents who get sick through the disease and I want people to know that there is hope,” Mbanjwa told The Witness yesterday.

Abbott is a global broad-based health care organisation devoted to discovering new medicines, technologies and ways to manage health.

Mbanjwa is a graduate of the Africaid Whizzkids United programme, which uses football as a medium to educate on life skills and HIV/Aids prevention.

CEO Marcus McGilvray said it was time people started looking at Africa for HIV preventions.

“What’s great about this is not only that it is a great opportunity for Philile to travel overseas, but the world will get to learn from Africa what has worked and what hasn’t.”

McGilvray, who will also be speaking at the conference, started the Whizzkids initiative as a pilot project in Edendale in 2005.

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