TASO made it 26 years of HIV and AIDS service on Monday 11th November 2013. The organisation started in 1987 as a small group initiative for supporting people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and has since grown into one of the most acclaimed non-governmental organisation response to HIV and AIDS in Uganda and the rest of Africa.
The commemorations of the 26 years of existence are being held across all the TASO units under the theme “Celebrating 26 years of positive Living: the Foundation of HIV prevention, care and support”. The Philosophy of Positive has since the founding of TASO remained a central pillar in the organization’s HIV and AIDS response. It is a tested practice that has transformed the lives of many people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS across the world. As TASO reflects on its 26 year journey of HIV and AIDS service, the organisation calls upon each one of us to embrace the Philosophy of Positive Living and integrate it with other innovations so that together we can achieve the global targets of “Zero new infections, Zero stigma and discrimination, and Zero AIDS–related deaths.
TASO Mulago held its commemoration event on Tuesday 12th November 2013 to allow for the participation of clients on the clinic day at the centre. The chief guest at the event was Ms. Mary Kakeeto Lukubo, a founder member of TASO. In attendance were members of the Centre Advisory Council, Clients’ Council, staff from Headquarters, Grants Management Unit and Training Centre, subscriber members and friends of TASO. Clients, their attendants and staff from neighboring departments of Mulago Hospital also joined the celebrations.
In her passionate remarks, the chief guest, Mama Maria, as she is fondly called in TASO, urged all to uphold the TASO values that have stood the test of time and lifted the organisation to an internationally recognized institution. She said, “TASO values are a pillar on which the organisation has nurtured a work culture that puts a person infected and affected by HIV and AIDS at the centre of every intervention”. Speaking at the event, TASO Executive Director, Dr. Christine Nabiryo, shared with the clients that the trends of the epidemic have continued to be dynamic thereby demanding more innovative approaches to challenge it. She said TASO will continue to work with all its partners to scale new heights so we can realize the vision of a world without HIV and AIDS. She later gave out gifts to clients who answered correctly her quiz. Other speakers at the occasion were the Acting Centre Manager, Dr. Moses Batwala and the Chairperson of the Clients’’ Council, Badru Muwanga.
To climax the celebrations, Mama Maria blew out 26 candles and later cut and served a cake to the attendees as the drama group sang the happy birthday song. She was assisted by the Chief Internal Auditor, Emanuel Wandera and clients.