I want to marry Stephen Lewis…

Stephen-Lewis-FlickrNever mind that he’s already married, I think, or that I am perfectly happy with my current partner. I just adore the man, and wish all men would be more like him.

Why? Because he loves women.

Not in any sordid way, I mean. I mean he is fighting just as hard as he physically, mentally, and emotionally can to get people to start thinking of AIDS-HIV as a disease of women. Many many many many women, in Africa, in poverty, in partner situations where things may be violent or forced and the options for avoiding AIDS are few.

And for the children they leave behind when they die. The men are long gone, usually, off spreading AIDS to others, searching for the cure through having sex with virgins, or something, I don’t know. I know a lot of grandmothers are raising children, and a lot of orphans are raising themselves.

Lewis is a driven man. He’s probably a bit of a workaholic. But I think he could manage to make me forget about his absences by just talking to me. His speeches never fail to move me to tears or fighting fury.

He was recently at a fundraiser for women in Africa –“Hope Rising!”. Please check it out, listen to the fabulous music, the pleas from African women and from my dream husband.

From the description of the event: Hope Rising!, a benefit concert for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, was an inspiring evening dedicated to the role of women who are turning the tide of AIDS in Africa. Women are at the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. They are most affected, and infected, and also are at the heart of the community response.

And of the Foundation: The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) works with community-level organizations which are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa by providing care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS. Since 2003, we have funded over 700 initiatives, partnering with 300 community-based organizations in the 15 African countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

These grassroots groups are the lifeline for their communities: they provide counselling and education about HIV prevention, care and treatment; distribute food, medication and other necessities; reach the sick and vulnerable through home-based health care; help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren.

And, once you’ve listened to the music and read about the cause, maybe make a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Think of it as our wedding present.