AIDS Caregiver Kits Assembly

For Immediate Release

(St. Louis, MO)—Volunteer Caregivers who care for thousands living with HIV and AIDS in Swaziland and other African countries will receive Caregiver Kits assembled by 16,000 attendees at Urbana 12. Urbana 12 is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s triennial Student Missions Conference, held at the Edward Jones Dome, December 27-31, 2012.

The kits include medical and hygiene items for the compassionate care of people living with HIV and AIDS in a part of the world that has borne the brunt of what has been called the largest humanitarian crisis of all time, and where access to basic health care is greatly limited. “The Caregiver Kits provide practical materials which bring dignity and comfort to those living with AIDS,” said Steve Haas, Vice President of World Vision, which is partnering with InterVarsity on the project.

Over the past year World Vision saw 25,000 Caregiver kits assembled. During this one Saturday night at Urbana 12, another 32,000 kits were added to that total. Each Urbana attendee packed two kits and enclosed notes of encouragement and blessing for the kit recipient.

Items in the Caregiver Kits include antibacterial soap, antifungal cream, petroleum jelly, gauze pads, washcloths, and water purification sachets. The wholesale cost for the supplies in each kit totals over $20. After moving through the assembly line, each attendee took their assembled kits to a shipping container in the arena in which it is being shipped to Africa.

“Today’s college students are service oriented and volunteer oriented,” said Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Urbana’s Program Director.  “At Urbana 12 we are challenging them to move beyond charity to identification with the needy. We hope that the Caregiver project will help them to understand that the gospel message needs to be both demonstrated and proclaimed in order to be effective.”

InterVarsity’s Urbana Student Missions Conference has been held every three years since 2006 in the Edward Jones Dome and the Americas Center in St. Louis. Before that it was held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Urbana attendance since 1946—when InterVarsity’s first missions conference was held in Toronto—totals more than 250,000.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a campus ministry which has worked with students and faculty on U.S. campuses for more than 72 years. InterVarsity has almost 900 chapters active on 576 U.S. colleges and universities, from the Ivy League to community colleges. 

For more information:
Gordon Govier
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship