Recently crowned Miss Jamaica Universe 2012, Chantal Zaky, has officially partnered with the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) as one of the charities she will work with during her reign.
The JASL is an organization ‘dedicated to preserving the dignity and rights of persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and to help with the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS by providing education and other interventions to promote change.’ The JASL provides employment, among other services, to persons living with HIV.
Zaky will take part in efforts by the group to benefit HIV-affected persons including fund-raising, counseling and HIV testings.
“The Jamaica Aids Support for Life is doing a great job in the community. I chose the Jamaica Aids Support for Life charity because I want to share my voice with a group that has proven its dedication to people living with AIDS/HIV. Lending my voice to this charity helps to increase awareness of the services available to the community in the form of support and education. These services help to ensure our health and vitality,” said Zaky.
She believes her decision is an important one, as the stigma attached to persons living with the virus has over the years impacted society significantly.
“I think it’s important because we all must play a role in transforming society’s response to people living with HIV/Aids. It’s vital to promote learning and understanding of the human tragedy of AIDS /HIV and to generate confidence in the impact we can all have on our country and communities.”
Zaky’s Sunshine Youth foundation will also, in August, partner with the JASL on a back-to-school drive for orphans and vulnerable children to assist in providing valuable school supplies.