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Joslyn Thompson's Fundraiser:

Sex, drugs and rock n' roll: A HIV/AIDS Primary Intervention in Manipur, India

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BENEFITING:

Joslyn Thompson

THE STORY:

Hi All, this is my second time running the marathon. This year I got a place in the ballot so don't need to raise huge amounts of money for a charity place. I thought I would take the opportunity to try and raise some money for a project a good friend of mine Aislinn has dedicated much time and effort to. There are thousands of charities around the world but Aislinn always chooses the ones that are not so appealing to most maybe because they are a taboo subject or the project itself is dangerous. Such projects get overlooked and are in desperate need of funds. I hope to one day be able to go and devote my own time to working in these projects but for now I would at least like to raise a few pounds before I do.

Here's a little bit about the project:

The Nghathal Youth Club (NYC) is a music and sport project led by young people for young people in Manipur, India. The project is in the hill tribe district of Churachandpur on the border with Burma. The town has been struggling with the trade in cheap heroin across the border and has very high rates of injecting drug use and HIV. Education and information have not managed to change behaviours; young people need something positive to live for. Tribal peoples in the North-East region in India are mad about music, in particular rock music, and football.

The NYC provides a jam room and drop in space where young people can take free music lessons, practice with their bands and participate in workshops on life skills, relationships, sexuality, peer pressure, HIV and drug use. Currently a studio is being built and the second phase of the project focusing on football is being initiated. So far, over 200 young people are taking music lessons and about 20 rock and gospel bands have been formed, including bands with drug users and HIV+ people. We believe coming together in a shared space helps to break down prejudice, creating friendships through shared passions.

This is a local project for local people and we want to keep it that way! That said, we are sharing our ideas through the region and making connections abroad, and people like what we have been doing. We want to make sure that it doesn't become too reliant on funding bodies and to encourage the community to see it as OUR project. But we can't do it all alone and appreciate your support and solidarity.

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