Cross River

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Sweet Mother International
Cross River State

SMI Team participates in World AIDS Day



DATE: November 8th, 2011


The SAVE Campaign in Cross River State commenced with  sensitization and awareness programs, particularly targeted at improving women's health and wellbeing. This initiative kick-starting at the Palace of his Highnesses, Otu Joseph Katchang and Otu Joseph Edi, Clan heads of Kakwagom and Bue-Obi Clans in Boki Local Government Area.

At this gathering, the SMI Cross River Coordinator, Florence Kekong addressed the audience, highlighting that most causes of deaths among women and children can be prevented through improved health care delivery and up-skilling of traditional health practitioners.

Team Leader Mrs. Mary George Edor, making a point at a meeting with

Clan Head of Katchuan Buda, His highness, Otu Benedict Kekong.

Also, women were mobilized to form SMI groups across various local government areas. This is in view of collating data and analyzing the health situation of women. This data will also assist the SMI team to   initiate activities that best targets the core needs of women and to design projects that effectively improves their living conditions.


AIDS is a condition resulting from damage done to the human immune system by HIV. It affects tens of millions of people around the world. The United Nations' (UN) World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year to honor the victims of the AIDS pandemic and focus attention on the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS related conditions.

What do people do? World AIDS Day is the focal point of the World AIDS Campaign, which is active all year round. During the days and weeks leading up to World AIDS Day, there is often a lot of coverage of the condition in the media and fundraising for AIDS and HIV-related charities. In addition, health education campaigns aiming to reduce the transmission of HIV and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS are often launched on or around December 1.

On World AIDS Day, many community, national and international leaders issue proclamations on supporting and treating people living with HIV and AIDS and stimulating research into the treatment of these conditions. Local communities may hold events to remember and honor members who have died of AIDS-related conditions or exhibitions around the subject.

ROLE OF SWEET MOTHER INTERNATIONAL: SMI is championing the World AIDS Day programs by being active in the "Getting to Zero" campaign. This also aligns with the maternal and child health programmes of the Cross River State government. By being involved in this program, SMI, Cross River, wishes to be fully integrated into the state government's health schemes. SMI has helped to mobilse women Living Positively and others from the communities  to participate in this year’s world AIDS day event.  The event was marked with  road work and health education talks. Various groups including SMI participated in discussions on methodologies and progress on  prevention and reduction of the spread  HIV/AIDS including elimination of stigmatization of people living with the virus.

SMI mobilised women from the rural communities to join other women in the Calabar metropolitan area. This exposure will further  strengthen their understanding about current issues affecting women generally and provide them an opportunity to network with women from diverse professions and status.


The SAVE TEAM got condoms and T-shirts from the State Action Committee Against HIV/AIDS (SACA). Mothers displayed these condoms as it can be seen in this photograph.


Our SAVE TEAM members who are living positively and are open about their status. They did a great job as they went round with Cross River SMI Coordinator, telling others not to stigmatize themselves.

CONCLUSION: Cross River is hopeful that SMI would spread its activities across the State and become more effective before the end of the first quarter. We have mapped out strategies to usher in the New Year with some activities that would promote and encourage more support for the wellbeing of pregnant mothers and their children,. On the first of January, there would be a rally targeted at improving the nutritional status of women and children, to be rounded up with a thanksgiving mass on the second of January, 2012. By the Grace of God.





Report by:

Florence Kekong

Coordinator, SMI Cross-River State.


Sweet Mother International (SMI) is practically assisting women and children in impoverished communities of Cross River State , Nigeria.

SMI believes that by collectively working hand-in-hand, most of the challenges faced by women and children in rural communities can be overcomed.

Hence, the “SAVE” campaign compliments the effort of the government, local and international agencies  in our collective effort to empower women through capacity building and skills development.

SMI is also proactively advocating for more efforts and resources to be devoted towards  eliminating  pregnancy related deaths in Cross River State.

Some of the challenges faced by rural communities include the difficult terrains , added with the horrible and nearly inaccessible road networks.

For long, this  has left the people in heart-rending disadvantaged conditions. Most affected are women and children who are not only affected by infrastructural handicaps but also over-burdened by  illiteracy, ignorance and low economic status. 

In addition, ugly cultural practices  contributes to rendering women  vulnerable to contracting Sexually transmitted disease as they are almost powerless in matrimonial decision-making -- including decision making on matters as vital and personal as their health, sexuality and fertility.

Therefore, to attain the Global Health Plan targets, SMI will tailor its programs to address issues affecting rural cross-riverian women, creating awareness on maternal health issues, and delivering practical and effective empowerment programs. 

SMI will also provide comprehensive and high-quality reproductive health services through multisectoral integrated approach.

In doing this, SMI Cross River state will be collaborating with traditional rulers, community groups, local and international organizations, businesses and philanthropists, medical professionals and health related organizations, media and Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and Cross River State Government to deliver best outcome on  all SMI projects within the state.