Nationwide Bus Tour Takes Aim at HIV/AIDS in Africa
July 21, 2006
Two years ago, Maryland native Nathanial Elliott, now 18, helped spark the Living Hope Bus Tour, which is traveling across the United States to raise awareness among young people about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. "Having a passion in life gives you direction," Elliott said.
Elliott and four other young men spoke Tuesday at the Omaha Home for Boys to a crowd of about 75. The event was sponsored by the Omaha chapter of the ONE Campaign, a national effort to petition the US government to allocate an additional 1 percent of the federal budget toward providing the basics of health, education, clean water and food to poor countries.
After various international travels and learning that about 40 million people in the world have HIV, most of them living in Africa, Elliott got the idea for the tour. The others traveling with Elliott -- Scott Brookens, 18; Derick Henderson, 23; Chris Franklin, 21; and Tommy Frankovich, 17 -- were recruited through an application process. They are traveling in a donated, renovated school bus.
After fundraising and gathering donations, the young men began the tour in Baltimore on June 10; the tour ends in Seattle on August 16. World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, is sponsoring the tour. Speaking to churches and various organizations, the tour participants hope to raise $250,000 to help build schools in Zambia for HIV/AIDS orphans.
"We aren't just trying to have a good time," Elliott said. "We are on a mission to change the world."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.