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New to Working in the HIV/AIDS Field? Welcomes and Tips From Fellow Advocates

November 28, 2012


Laurindo Garcia

Laurindo Garcia, Philippines and Singapore

The first question I would ask them is: What are your intentions? And whatever those intentions, just be sincere about them. I mean, if your intention is to help the community, then make it clear that that's why you're doing it, as long as you're being sincere about it.

If it is to get a job, then live up to that. Make it clear. I mean, you need a livelihood. There's nothing wrong with needing a livelihood. If you can marry that together with community advocacy, then even better for you.

If it's for fame . . . then, OK. But be clear.

But whatever it is, be sincere; be transparent about it.

My second question is then just to make them aware of the time frame that's required, that they should be prepared for. We're not going to see the change that we want to see overnight. If we're really believers in community advocacy and mobilization, these things take time. So you've got to have patience and a willingness to kind of have a long-term view. But at the same time, as I've heard many other advocates say, you've got to be prepared to move mountains, too. Because it's that passion that's going to help you get through the dark times.

Those are the big things that I would ask them to think about as they took the leap. But finally, I would give them a big hug and say, "Thank you for joining us, because we really need more people."

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