Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance

Laurie Hunter and the HRH Foundation received the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) Global Citizen Award on May 10 at a reception held on the 61st floor of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. The award is given annually to recognize exceptional individuals and institutions who have made extraordinary contributions to GAIA and global efforts to reduce glaring health disparities.

The HRH Foundation was created in 2000 by Menlo Park residents Shirley and Harry Hagey (top, pictured with their family)  to continue their charitable giving after retirement and to instill the values of philanthropy in their children. The Foundation supports local and global organizations working on issues including social services, environment/conservation, health and education.

HRH and the Hagey family’s commitment to GAIA stem from Shirley’s on-the-ground experience visiting GAIA programs in Malawi. Moved by GAIA’s impactful responses to the illness and suffering she witnessed, she opted to roll up her sleeves — and asked her family to join in.

Laurie Hunter (pictured right) has worn virtually every hat for GAIA, from donor to ambassador to current member of GAIA’s Board of Trustees. Beginning with her visit to Malawi in 2013 as a representative of Trinity Church in Menlo Park’s outreach team, Laurie witnessed the enormous impact of GAIA’s programs, fell in love with the people, and has considered the small landlocked nation part of her “community” ever since.

GAIA is a secular 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2000 in response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Its mission is to develop and implement innovative and caring healthcare programs in resource-deprived regions in Africa, especially those most affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

GAIA programs aim to achieve UNAIDS 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets in rural, remote Malawi by 2020: 90% of people living with HIV know their status; 90% of those are on treatment; and 90% of those are virally suppressed — a “treatment as prevention” strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. More information about the Marin County-based  organization is available online.

Photos by David Arscott (2019)

{ Be the first to comment }

Spotted: Atherton resident Marty Arscott receiving GAIA’s Global Citizen Award

In honor of its 15th anniversary, the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) launched  the Global Citizen Award to recognize those who have committed themselves to creating an AIDS-free generation. Atherton resident Marty Arscott, GAIA Trustee and Chair, along with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, were the first to receive the award, presented earlier this month. In her […]

Click to read more →

Trinity Church members pedal bike ambulance on Peninsula to raise awareness about GAIA

Trinity Church members Steve Andrew (center), Kathy Engelmann (right) and Katie Behroozi could be spotted around the mid-Peninsula today as they took turns pedaling a GAIA bike ambulance, a replica of similar bikes used every day in rural Africa to transport critically ill patients across dirt roads to the nearest clinic or hospital. Their goal was to […]

Click to read more →

Charity rummage sale at St. Bede’s in Menlo Park on June 28 will benefit GAIA

St. Bede’s semi-annual rummage sale offers clothes, shoes, books, CDs, household items, toys, knickknacks, craft items and more — you never know what treasures you’ll find — plus free refreshments. The church promises prices that are famously low and friendly volunteers to help you find what you are looking for. The sale takes place in Lehman Hall, the […]

Click to read more →

Marty Arscott makes return trip to Malawi as Board Chair of Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance

When we talked to Atherton resident Marty Arscott last fall about her first trip to Malawi in her capacity as Board Chair of U.S. Trustees of the nonprofit Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), she said she’d be returning in a couple of years. That turned out to be closer to months. She returned in June […]

Click to read more →

Authors Dr. Abraham Verghese and Annie Lamott headline Atherton garden party in support of GAIA

Local residents are central to an afternoon garden party that will feature authors Dr. Abraham Verghese and Anne Lamott in support of the non-profit Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance to be held at an Atherton home on Sunday, April 29. “We are glad to be able to introduce GAIA’s work to more Peninsula residents this year […]

Click to read more →

GAIA founder to speak at St. Bede’s on March 11

While AIDS may seem a manageable condition in the United States, where antiviral drugs are widely available, the disease continues to take a devastating toll in Africa. In Malawi alone, an annual rate of more than 50,000 deaths due to AIDS has created some 650,000 orphans to date. Among those working to stem that tide […]

Click to read more →