Aug 08 2012
Editor’s note: The Levi Strauss & Co. Pioneer Award honors today’s pioneers in nonprofit organizations around the world. It recognizes the hard work and trailblazing efforts of individuals working for or with these nonprofits. Our hope is that calling attention to today’s pioneers will inspire others to join their march forward. We recently presented a Pioneer Award to Tetyana Deshko of Alliance Ukraine, an organization committed to supporting community action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care in the Ukraine.
It is a great honor for me to receive this award and be honored as a pioneer.
Pioneering very much reflects the character of the organization for which I’ve worked for more than 11 years – the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine, which has always had the courage to address the most challenging issues in public health in Ukraine:
• In 2004, the Alliance saved the lives of thousands of Ukrainians by initiating a large-scale antiretroviral therapy (ART) program funded by the Global Fund. Within a couple of years, the Alliance increased access to ART from nearly 200 patients to more than 6,000 and successfully handed over the program to the government;
• The Alliance is now leading the implementation of a massive comprehensive prevention program in the country’s most at risk communities – people who inject drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men;
• The Alliance recently began addressing the occurence of Hepatitis B and C in HIV risk groups – an as-yet almost unaddressed issue in Ukraine public health.
As a result of these efforts, the HIV epidemic is going down in Ukraine, and I am pleased, as a member of a very passionate team, to have been involved with such milestones.
It is indeed high time we pioneer in Ukraine. My country, with a history of thousands of years, has only 20 years of independence as a modern state. To build it into a flourishing country, a democratic state, a healthy nation, we all have to be pioneers in Ukraine!
I would like to thank Levi Strauss & Co for acknowledging a passion for life, the courage to dream, and the hard work it takes to make dreams come true. Thank you for giving credit to this wonderful pioneering spirit!
Top image: Tanya Deshko, left, receiving her Pioneer Award from Levi Strauss Foundation's Brandee Butler.
Posted By: Tanya Deshko, Alliance Ukraine
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