Candle Light Memorial Event
Candlelight Day Memorial is an internationally recognized event. It is an annual grass root event to remember those who succumbed to the AIDS epidemic; provide a platform for advocacy and stimulate increased individual resolve and actions to fight the epidemic.
The international theme for Candle Light Memorial 2019 was ‘Intensifying the fight for Health and Rights’. Uganda contextualized this theme to the local situation and the renewed drive towards primary prevention. With guidance of the Technical Working Group, the theme that was agreed upon nationally was Empowering Young People to champion the end of new HIV infections. The theme was premised on the fact that each year about 50,000 people get infected with HIV, of whom 34% are young people between the age of 15 and 24. Candlelight memorial was therefore an opportunity to re-energize mobilization of the Young people to play their key role towards ending the epidemic.
The national commemoration of the 2019 Candlelight memorial day in Uganda was marked over a week long series of activities. Activities were spearheaded by the Uganda Network of Young People living with HIV (UNYPA), as one of the key Stakeholders in the national response to HIV and AIDS. UAC provided overall coordination and guidance throughout the events. The week long activities included provision of HIV Counseling and Testing, as well as other health related services in and around Kampala city. The season was characterized by hyped up media activities promoting the Candlelight event mainly through social media, television and print. The two major joint events were: the lighting of the Candle by His Excellence William Carlos the Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda on 16th May, followed by a March through the city that culminated into the national Stakeholders dialogue on 17th May 2019.
The lighting of the Candle event was attended by about 275 Stakeholders including UAC Board members, Members of Parliament, young people, implementing partners, AIDS Development Partners, representatives of MDAs and the Kampala city community.