Advocacy is not, in our view, a solitary celebration. It is a way of reaching and mobilizing as many people as possible by offering them a privileged image of common suffering and joy. Advocacy allows people to participate in decision-making processes that influence their lives. He therefore obliges the litigant not to isolate himself; he submits him to permanent contact with his family. And those who have often chosen their destiny as litigants or development actors because they felt different, quickly learn that they will only nourish their art, and their difference, by acknowledging their similarity with all their fellow human beings. A community-based organization like ours is forged in this path and constantly returns from it to others, halfway between the dream it cannot do without and the reality of communities from which it cannot tear itself away. That is why real advocacy associations do not despise anything; they oblige themselves to understand rather than judge. And if they have a bias to take, it can only be that of a society where injustice and all the causes of underdevelopment that dehumanize man will no longer prevail.
The role of an organization like ours, at the same time, does not separate from difficult duties. By definition, it cannot be put at the service of those who make history today: Positive-Generation is at the service of those who suffer it and none of us is big enough for such a vocation. But, in all the circumstances of its life, obscure or temporarily famous, thrown into the shackles of the difficult living conditions of the communities it accompanies, an organization can regain the feeling of a living community that will justify it, on the sole condition that it accepts, as much as it can, the two charges that make its action great: the service of truth and that of freedom. Since its vocation is to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the communities it serves, it cannot accept the lies and servitude that, where they prevail, lead to the proliferation of injustices. Whatever our personal disabilities, the nobility of our interventions will always be rooted in two commitments that are difficult to maintain: the refusal to lie or to hide from what we know or see and resistance to oppression.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In view of this challenging context, it would be a pity, for us as litigants, not to seize such an opportunity, to launch a vibrant appeal to our decision-makers for more investment, more political and financial commitment to this cause that is the health of populations, especially in the context of HIV/AIDS. Huge efforts have been made in recent years, but much remains to be done and improved and in this case it is necessary to move forward because the challenge is moving forward.
To be honest, the issue of permanent access to treatment remains a dream for our populations in Africa. More than just a question of therapy, it is a real subject of human rights. It is a problem of social justice, civility and above all democracy. Indeed, it would be difficult for a State that has resigned from its obligations to protect its populations affected by various social evils to proudly use the term democratic. Similarly, a State that has not shown humanism, solidarity and that has allowed thousands of its citizens to die will hardly claim in the name of a civilized nation. In short, the degree of respect for the right to life of the people affected is now a significant barometer of the achievement of a State’s development objectives, but above all, a true indicator of the degree of humanism, solidarity, civility and democracy of a nation.
Every generation, no doubt, believes it is committed to remaking the world. Mine knows, however, that she will not do it again. But his task may be greater. It is about preventing the world from breaking up. As you are well aware, this activity comes at a particular time in the global effort to fight the HIV pandemic. In a context marked by the difficulty of mobilizing financial resources, where the financial crisis is being used as a pretext nowadays to justify mortgaging the lives of millions of patients around the world and in Africa in particular. In the face of this situation, we call on today’s African leaders to have the courage and political will of the fathers of African independence to say no to all this blatant dependence.
Speech by FOGUE FOGUITO,
Executive Director Positive-Generation
On the occasion of the award ceremony of the ONE PRIZE FOR AFRICA Dar es Salaam,
December 5, 2012