ActionAid is planning to use this year's World Aids Day to launch its first campaign to raise funds for its work supporting international communities hit by the disease.
The charity has traditionally relied on its child sponsorship programmes for fundraising, but says that the publicity surrounding World Aids Day on 1 December will provide a good platform to launch bespoke fundraising initiatives based on its work with HIV/Aids.
"Not many people know that we've been working with communities destroyed by HIV/Aids since 1997," said Ingrid Ambrose, direct marketing manager at ActionAid. "But this year we have seen more of our current supporters become interested in learning more about our work in this area, and so we're hoping that this signals a change in the public's perception about HIV/Aids and just how desperately we need to support these projects."
The charity is sending out mail packs that ask recipients to draw around their hands and write a message of support inside. The charity will then send it on to one of its international Aids projects as a symbol of hope and solidarity.
"Lots of people want to help tackle the HIV/Aids epidemic, but really don't know where to start," said Ambrose. "This way we're helping people send a personal message of support as well as helping us to continue funding and developing our work in this area."
This year, charities including the National Aids Trust, Crusaid and the International Federation of the Red Cross have launched high-profile campaigns to coincide with World Aids Day.