The Experience

Artwork: 

Imagine walking in the shoes of an African child inflicted with HIV/AIDS. For many of us without the disease, it is hard to even begin to try and comprehend such a difficult life. But the World Vision Experience asks us to do just that. Using this exhibit, visitors are confronted with the harsh realities many children face every day.

Upon entering the exhibit, people are met with a variety of visual stimuli. There is freedom to wander around the exhibit and explore areas of your own interest. Visitors watch powerful videos, look at visual displays, and hear moving speeches. The World Vision Experience is interactive and provides many stimulating visuals that make the viewer feel as though they have been carried into Africa and into the hearts of the children affected by this disease. Multiple video clips in the exhibit share the stories of individual African children by incorporating moving imagery of the horrendous conditions they face in their hometowns.  The videos feature natives such as Babirye, whose parents have died due to AIDS, who is now questioning his own survival.  Babirye’s parents are just two of the 57,533 per week who die from this horrible disease, according to the World Vision Experience website. The videos feature powerful images of the suffering and devastation in the region and stress how statistics alone cannot not accurately portray the crisis at hand. The exhibit is not to be rushed through, as there are many facets to explore.

A relatively new organization, World Vision launched its first “experience” in the fall of 2005.  At that time, more than 20,000 people in 10 different cities visited the exhibit.  Volunteers continue to be compassionate and dedicated to spreading awareness about HIV and AIDS.  At the exhibit, people have the opportunity to take action by signing up to sponsor a child. This includes a monthly monetary donation of $35, which allows a child in Africa to be fed, clothed, and given proper medical treatment. 

The experience is a free exhibit that tours churches across the United States,  Go to the website listed below under the heading, “Visit the Experience” and find out if the experience will be in a town near you. For those who are unable to make it to one of the exhibits, the World Vision Experience website hosts an online experience which serves as a comprehensive overview including information on AIDS, stories of children and their families, and how visitors can get involved.

The World Vision Experience is similar to the more widely known Red Cross and UNICEF organizations, whose missions are to raise awareness and funds for HIV and AIDS. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

HIV and AIDS is a global epidemic that affects nearly 34 million people in the world today. While many awareness programs and intervention services are underway, they still do not always reach the population that is most in need. While AIDS is a worldwide problem, two-thirds of the population living with HIV resides in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of organizations such as the World Vision Experience is to raise awareness and funding and work to eliminate this global epidemic.

For more information visit:

http://www.worldvisionexperience.org/default.asp

Featured picture was taken from tonrulken on www.flikr.com which is permitted according to the Creative Commons license. The original picture can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/47108884@N07/4514132851/