UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
Champuii, UNODC CHARCA PEER EDUCATOR, awarded "Civil Society Award" by UNAIDS on 1st December 2006
Nominated under NGOs (Individual) that have made the best use of art for HIV awareness and prevention.
Name : Lalchampuii
Address: Ray of Hope, half way home
Zarkawt: Aizawl, Mizoram.
Champuii, a Mizo girl trying to wean away youngsters from drugs through her music.
She comes from a broken home and has been a drug addict. Her life had almost come to an end with a drugs overdose, when she realized that others needed her more than she needed them.
And with UNODC, CHARCA (Coordinated HIV/AIDS Response through Capacity building and Awareness), she found her calling.
Champuii is just not another youngster. Through her music, this 22 year old is trying wean away youngsters from drugs. Her music has gained her entry into the various local churches for advocacy programmes.
"What I am trying to do is start a self-help group and have group education programmes." She says. She is now of a local celebrity in her hometown. Aizawl in Mizoram. And its not just Mizoram that has heard her music.
Her message is simple and yet difficult - she like her other peer educators of UNODC CHARCA, offers free condoms and exchange needles for drug users.
"I used to be a drug addict and because I was an addict, I couldn't live with my family. I was forced to live on the streets." she says.
" I want those people who are drug addicts. HIV positive and suffering from AIDS to come for help because I have suffered the same problems and can empathize with them in order to help them out of their troubles".
Champuii is actively working with the target population and has set up a self-help group of 12 lesbians. Along with her work as a Peer educator, she is volunteering as the warden under "Ray of Hope" halfway home for the lesbians.
And this she promises is just the beginning of her journey.
UNAIDS has selected her to receive the Civil society award this year on World AIDS day. The Award Ceremony was held at the National Stadium, New Delhi.