DAA at the KRAS Youth Parliament in Brussels

Today I attended the slotzitting of KRAS Globelink Youth Parliament in the chamber of the Flemish parliament. Talented youngsters aged 17-18 from all over Flanders came together to discuss important and hot health related topics. And I was there to represent Designers Against Aids and help these future politicians (or doctors, artists, soccer players..) with their lines of argumentation and ideas to tackle the health problems that were addressed. DAA was asked to contribute to the issue of how to minimize the amount of deathly victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in this world. Well, as you might expect: there's not one simple solution to this problem. Fortunately these students turned out to be quite inventive and I was glad to be of help. Together they formed their advice on this topic that they will give to the Belgian government. You probably wonder, and so did I, if those politicians actually listen to the students so after the first session I had a little talk with the chairman of KRAS, Benedict Verbrugge, to ask him this. He told me that Belgian politicians will be given actual advice from the students - and that they do find this very helpful in shaping their future policy and plans. Having started our own Designers Against Aids education center [link] we are well aware of the necessity of teaching (and learning from!) youngsters when it comes to our battle against HIV/AIDS. The power lies in the hands of the future generation, we think. Today was a great example of how to reach out to the young and knowledgeable, not only to give them the information they need and to help them create innovative solutions to large health related issues but also to share our safe sex message to them in an interactive way. Sharing, teaching, learning and having fun at the same time - it sure is possible!   So, from Brussels with love, Wieke