Having spent a year designing and then producing the outcomes from the Visualising Issues in Pharmacy (VIP) Project, 64 “Stop HIV” soccer outfits were recently sent as a charity donation to the people of Winam in Kenya. HIV/AIDS is cited as one of the major causes of child abandonment in hospitals in and around the Kisumu district. Unfortunately, sent through Australia Post and DHL couriers the outfits arrived only for Kenyan customs to impose import duties at a cost of $1300.00 !!

Despite formal submissions to declare them as a non-profit gift to the people as genuine aid donation, the fees would not be waived and customs informed us the items may be destroyed. As of today, Omnium has now paid the charges and we are promised the items should be released within three days.

The VIP project collectively links together 300 global participants, including 105 students from developing countries, through online technology. Coordinated between the Universities of Auckland & of New South Wales, Sydney, it was the first fully-online global initiative joining Pharmacy and Graphic Design with local community representatives to raise public awareness of critical health issues in Kenya, including HIV/AIDS and malaria. VIP project conveners (Nataly Martini and Rick Bennett), Nabuur representative (Raul Caceres) and AVIF, in collaboration with local community leaders, identified the following areas where VIP project materials (interventions) will be implemented:

• Winam, Kisumu district, Nyanza Province, Kenya
• Asato, Volta region, Ghana
• Busukuma, Wakiso district, Uganda
• Kyomya, Kagoma County, Jinja District, Uganda
• Nyalebe, Mahagi Territory, Ituri Province, DRC
• Bukavu, South Kivu province, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo)
• Kiliba, South Kivu province, DRC

The project is still positively seeking funding. Potential sponsors are kindly asked to contact AVIF.