Since Red Party was established in 2007, it has transformed into the one of the largest student-run charities in Western Australia. Each year we engage over 2000 people through HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and raise over $30,000 to support people in Sub-Saharan Africa living with these conditions. This year we are supporting Oxfam Australia’s Alfred Nzo District Development Initiative in South Africa. In addition, as a local based charity, we continue to advocate the reduction of stigma and discrimination faced by people with HIV/AIDS in Perth.
Our aim is to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Perth community through student-led events and campaigns. We run three main events during the year – Red Aware Quiz Night, Red Aware Week and Red Party. Red Aware Quiz Night helps to educate university students about sexual health through fun facts on a mirage of topics such sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Red Aware Week campaign is our public engagement campaign where various structures around Perth are lit up red. We hope that by doing so, we can start conversations about HIV/AIDS and help raise awareness about topic. The week culminates in our flagship event Red Party, a fantastic party themed red to help raise funds for Oxfam.
Every Small Step Is One Step Closer to Making A Big Difference
You may be wondering to yourself, what impact could a student charity have?. We acknowledge that we are not miracle workers: we are no genius who can cure HIV/AIDs nor are we influential enough to deliver aid on a large scale. But we would like to leave you with the parable of the starfish.
One day, an old man was walking along a beach after a storm. He saw that the beach was littered with starfishes as far as the eye could see. As he was walking along, he saw a little boy picking up starfishes and flinging them back into the sea. The old man asked the little boy why he was throwing the starfish back into the sea. The little boy replied that the starfishes were stranded on the beach and without water they would die. The old man laughed and said that there it made no difference for there were thousands of starfishes scattered across the beach and the boy would not be able to save them all. The little boy smiled, picked up a starfish and threw it into sea and replied “It made a difference for that one”
Even though we are just a bunch of medical students from Perth, together with your help we can strive to empower the lives of people with HIV/AIDS.