Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
Scotiabank today announced that Oyster Pond homeowners and artist Sir Roland Richardson are conducting an online art auction as part of this year’s Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign. Proceeds will benefit HIV/AIDS educational and preventive health programs targeting schoolchildren in St. Maarten between 14- and 18-years old.
The works in this elegant collection offered for auction for the first time include over 30 creations – originals and limited edition giclees – by the renowned island artist, Sir Roland Richardson. His works, "En Plein Air", are images of the island landscape and people that have earned him recognition as "The Father of Caribbean Impressionism".
The announcement was made today at the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) 10th Annual General Meeting by Dr. Gerard van Osch, President of the St Maarten AIDS Foundation. Presently, 630 persons living with HIV/AIDS are under care on the Dutch and French sides of the island, however out of a population of around 90 000, 1 500 to 2 500 persons are estimated to be infected.
The online auction runs from today until December 1, 2010. These dates coincide with the Annual General Meeting of the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and the global observance of World AIDS Day. Access to the catalog and the auction is at www.idonatetocharity.org/store/sxmcharity/. This will allow supporters worldwide to contribute to the Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign.
"The addition of a community-driven online auction comprising works of art from Sir Roland Richardson is a significant milestone," said Elie Bendaly, Country Manager, Scotiabank St. Maarten. "International funding for HIV/AIDS education, prevention and care has not been allocated to St. Maarten, so private champions are exactly what our local leadership needs to bring this grassroots effort to the next level."
Commenting on the organisation of the auction catalog, Sir Roland said, "The selected body of works is truly intended to encourage unity and collaboration on St. Maarten for this life-saving cause. All of my work focuses on the miraculous beauty surrounding us in our natural landscape, our people and the traditions that are the heart of our island."
Many of the works in the collection are available for viewing at the Roland Richardson Gallery, #6 rue de la Republique, Marigot. Additional information on the artist is available at www.rolandrichardson.com.
Scotiabank, in partnership with the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation, formed the Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign in 2006. It is an annual fundraising effort to provide education, support and counsel on the risks and consequences of living with HIV/AIDS. Over the past four years, the effort has raised US$135 000 to finance the care and treatment of uninsured persons living with HIV/AIDS, who are in need of proper medical care, medicine, counseling and other forms of support. This year’s fundraising goal is US$100 000.
To date, awareness and execution of the Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign have been primarily supported by Scotiabank, local government, press, schools, merchants and corporations, as well as the staff of Scotiabank and the volunteer efforts of the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation.
Proceeds from the online art auction are specifically earmarked for the development and execution of girls and boys programs that address the growing number of teenagers at risk for HIV/AIDS and STDs. These programs have been developed by Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and are tailored to incorporate multiple teaching methods that resonate with the participants’ age-level and the St. Maarten culture.
According to Dr. van Osch, "After-school education is especially important considering the many schoolchildren left unsupervised and vulnerable to risky behaviors. The St. Maarten Health Department and the Government’s HIV/AIDS Program Management Team, as well as teachers in the secondary schools, strongly support the ongoing execution of girls and boys programs that include not only students but also out-of-school youth and their parents." For more information on the St Maarten AIDS Foundation, go to www.sxmaidsfoundation.org.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2009 the Bank provided about $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.