PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (May 22, 2015) – Scotiabank became the first organization to donate in the ninth annual Stronger Together/Red Ribbon campaign. The bank made a donation of US $5,000 to St. Maarten AIDS Foundation.
“Scotiabank remains committed to giving back to the community, and HIV remains one of our corporate areas of focus, reflecting the continuing need and the importance of maintaining control over the epidemic in our region,” stated Raymond Green, Country Head at Scotiabank Sint Maarten.
He called on other business leaders to join Scotiabank in furthering this worthy cause.
AIDS Foundation commends Scotiabank for taking a leadership position in a campaign that strives to make St. Maarten a better place.
Over the years, the campaign has benefited from all corners of the community – from large sponsors such as the Maho Group of Companies and Scotiabank, to students, church groups and individuals, who seek to make a difference.
Although Stronger Together donations in 2014 fell short of annual goal of US $100,000, the money raised facilitated some 1,200 free HIV tests, delivered Girl Power and Real Talk programmes to 700 boys and girls in 10 schools and trained educators to visited adult entertainment venues for 62 separate sessions, reaching out to 658 workers. Another specially trained educator visited nail salons, beauty shops and car washes, reaching 470 people in 89 small sessions conducted in Spanish. An average of 15 uninsured persons living with HIV continue to receive free care and treatment while many more benefit from individual counselling and the HOPE support group.
“Imagine the further impact we will make by reaching our goal this year with Stronger Together. Continued awareness and sustainable programmes are needed to keep HIV/AIDS on the front burner and help St. Maarten on its path to zero new infections,” said the AIDS Foundation.
Maintaining the AIDS Secretariat is imperative to the sustainable HIV/AIDS response. Funds from Stronger Together helps to keep the office doors open to people who seek information, counselling and free confidential HIV tests among other services. The office in the Sun Building, Cole Bay, remains the only place on the Dutch side to offer free and confidential HIV testing and counselling. It is only entity offering HIV/STI prevention education outreach and care/treatment support for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Established in 2006, the Stronger Together/Red Ribbon campaign seeks to raise funds that help fuel multiple HIV prevention for with community, support and care programmes for those living with HIV/AIDS on St. Maarten.
To make a donation, e-mail email@example.com or make a direct deposit at Scotiabank to account numbers 7223 (US dollars) and 7221 (guilders) in the name of “Stronger Together HIV/AIDS Campaign.”