PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — The Ford Struandale Engine Plant and the Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) held their annual school HIV and AIDS design competition as part of the award-winning Ford-AIDC Wellness Workplace Cluster Programme.
The initiative, which is supported by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), aims to raise awareness regarding healthy lifestyle choices and HIV&AIDS. The project was conducted this year in partnership with 2012 Wellness Cluster companies Formex Engineering and Corning Products, which nominated Bethelsdorp Comprehensive School and Masiphathisane High School in Port Elizabeth to participate in the competition.
“With our ‘Design a Poster’ competition, and the ‘Design a T-shirt’ competition held for the third time in the past four years, we are engaging with the youth in terms of healthy lifestyle choices and crucial awareness regarding HIV and AIDS,” explained Arnelle Heynes, AIDC EC Workplace Programmes Manager.
“This community-oriented project aims to get students thinking about and discussing important topics such as wellness and HIV/AIDS, to encourage behaviour change and to raise awareness within the schools and in the broader community,” Heynes said.
An impressive number of high-quality entries were received from the nominated schools. Students were asked to create a poster that would reflect the key issues of ‘responsibility and your future’, ‘substance abuse’, ‘stigma and discrimination’, ‘health and your body’ – all of which can be linked to HIV/AIDS and healthy lifestyles.
An awards function was held at the Ford Engine Plant, and several merit, inspirational message and creative excellence certificates were handed to the best designs from students from both schools, as judged by members of the AIDC EC, Ford and an independent creative designer from Dumisa Design and Advertising.
Ultimately the top three poster designs emerged from Bethelsdorp Comprehensive School, and each received a special certificate of achievement along with Pick ‘n Pay shopping vouchers as prizes.
Grade 11 pupil Shaquile Boran took first place overall with his captivating HIV&AIDS poster depicting seeing the world from a different perspective.
Phinda Runeli (Grade 9) was awarded second-place prize, with Inez Harris (Grade 11) picking up third place.
The top-ranked posters will be adapted by a professional designer, then printed and distributed to the Ford-AIDC cluster companies, as well as schools in the Port Elizabeth area, with the aim of driving the HIV/AIDS and wellness messages home.
“The Ford-AIDC Workplace Wellness Cluster has made great strides in improving participation in HIV&AIDS and wellness programmes amongst 13 of Ford’s local supplier companies, and the wider community, since it was launched in 2008,” said Charles Joseph, HR manager, Ford Engine Plant.
“By hosting and promoting the schools design competition, the Ford-AIDC Wellness Cluster has created a valuable and meaningful project that touches the lives of our youth, and ensures that they are actively engaged in raising awareness and participating in addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and healthy living in general.”