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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, April 2, 2003, 1:00 am ET

    Quilt of Hope for Ukrainian victims of HIV/AIDS

    Ukraine currently has the highest growth rate of HIV in Europe, with an estimated 400,000 known cases according to a fact sheet distributed by the the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center (UECC) in Philadelphia. Orysia Hewka, Executive Director of the UECC is doing something about it.

    © HK/

    Oryssia Hewka displays a sample square for the HIV/AIDS quilt. The deadline for submitting a square for the quilt project is April 15, 2003. Squares should be cut 6"x6" or more, but the embroidered center should not exceed 5"x5" in order to allow for a border. Both traditional and non-traditional embroidery styles are welcome. Register now to take part in the "Rushnyk Nadiji" (Ritual Cloth of Hope).

    The public is invited to attend the national forum on the HIV/AIDS situation in Ukraine and Ukrainian orphans which will take place on Saturday May 3rd at the UECC. Organizers hope to bring greater awareness to the Ukrainian community about this critical issue facing Ukraine today. A Ukrainian quilt for AIDS project called "Rushnyk Nadiji" (Ritual Cloth of Hope) is part of the awareness campaign, along with a scheduled appearance at a press conference on Sunday, May 4th, of HIV/AIDS spokesperson Justine Pasek, Miss Universe 2002/3.

    A staggering 19% of the Ukrainian youth population is infected with HIV, widely attributed to a high rate of intravenous drug use. The goals of the forum and quilt project are to initiate a fundraising drive for several targeted areas:

  • printed bi-lingual information materials for Ukraine
  • pharmaceuticals for young mothers who risk passing the disease to fetuses during pregnancy
  • HIV swab test kits
  • scholarship to Kyiv-Mohyla Academy slated specifically for orphans - a high risk group.

    Learn more about the May forum on the UECC website.

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