Getting to Zero, event organized by the Harvard African Law Association

Tracey Masella and Rolande Hodel
On November 30, the Harvard African Law Association hosted a fundraising event: Getting to Zero, in honor of World Aids Day. The Harvard African Law Association’s mission is to “unite African students and students interested in Africa, and increase awareness of legal, social and economic issues that shape and concern the continent of Africa”.Two nonprofit organizations were invited to present their organizations’ activities: Medical Relief Association (MRA) and AIDSfreeAFRICA.
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was Sedoo Manu; the moderator, Mr. Nana Okyir; Sia Henry was one of the organizers and main point person. All three are students at Harvard Law.
The audience on November 30
Tracey Masella, Board Chair of MRA, showed us a video of the goat farm recently inaugurated by MRA in Kenya. MRA’s mission is to help families affected by AIDS the means to earn a livelihood and lead healthy lives. To achieve this goal, MRA donates dairy goats to families; the milk is easily digestible by HIV-afflicted people and a goat usually provides more than enough milk for an entire family, so there is enough left over to sell on the market. MRA just inaugurated a goat farm: the Goat Hope Farm.
Dr. Rolande Hodel, after obtaining her PhD in chemistry, rather than return to the corporate world,  founded AIDSfreeAFRICA in 2005. She has been active in Cameroon, mainly in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest Regions. The organization’s mission is to help produce pharmaceutical drugs locally and to create access to these drugs to rural populations through revolving drug funds. AIDSfreeAFRICA’s work encourages the creation of sustainable jobs, for example by founding a healthcare clinic in the village of Esu. In the past 7 years, AIDSfreeAFRICA has brought manufacturing equipment, medical equipment and supplies, AIDS tests, condoms, vitamins, medicine, and scientific books to Cameroon, amongst other useful items collected by the organization’s volunteers.
At the event, she mentioned that although it was difficult to change the habits of the older generation in the areas she serves, this generation however believes in her mission to eradicate AIDS and wants their children to be educated in protecting themselves, as they do not want to lose the new generation to this disease.

Hicham Alaoui
Special entertainment was brought by Hicham Alaoui, a young Master Percussionist from Casablanca, Morocco, who is also a first year Harvard MBA student. He blends rhythms from many cultures, on a variety of drums, and his performance was entrancing.

Sedoo Manu
Additional photos of the Harvard Law event:

WomenCentric article about Dr. Rolande Hodel

Dr. Hodel handing out vitamins


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