RUGBY MP Mark Pawsey questioned the Minister for International Development on the government’s strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS
Mr Pawsey said he came to appreciate the work in this area when his daughter, Victoria, worked in Tanazania during a gap year, talking to youngsters about the risks of HIV and AIDS and the importance of changing their behaviour to minimise their risks of contracting the disease.
Mr Pawsey said: “Does he recognise the contribution that has been made by UK-based non-governmental organisations, with young volunteers, often in their gap years, working overseas with young people in their communities to get across the message of how a change in their behaviour can reduce their exposure to the risk of AIDS?”
Responding for the government, Stephen O’Brien answered: “Tremendous, and often brilliant, work is done by NGOs in ensuring that work on the ground is delivering results.”
Speaking after the debate Mr Pawsey said: “I am pleased that the minister has taken the opportunity to praise the work done by UK NGOs and their volunteers. I have seen at first hand how people of all ages, not just students, give up their time to travel abroad to help people in developing communities. Having visited developing countries myself in recent summers, I hope that more people will be encouraged to take part in this very rewarding work.”