Step into Africa: Interactive exhibit at Orchard Hill Church informs community on global AIDS impact

Aubrey Caruso/Staff Writer

Orchard Hill Church is inviting the community to take a trip around the world this weekend- an interactive trip that will let participants see the devastation of a global pandemic through the eyes of a child. The exhibit is called The World Vision Experience: AIDS—Taking a Step into Africa.  The Experience is a hands on, walk-through exhibit that will transport visitors into the heart of Africa and its AIDS crisis.

“This is not an activity for our church. Its for our whole community (suggested to anyone over the age of 12) to get involved and be more educated about this topic,” youth minister at Orchard Hill Kris Hoskinson said.

Last year alone, more than 2.5 million people were infected with HIV. Every day, 6,000 people die because of AIDS, another person dies every 15 seconds.

“This is a great way to have students learn about what is around us in our world,” youth small group leader Karen Williams said.

AIDS is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, affecting entire communities, wiping out an entire generation— teachers, health care workers, civil servants and business leaders— leaving a generation of children to look after themselves. According to the people involved in The Experience the 65 million people who have died or will die of AID is greater than the number of people killed by the bubonic plaque, and numbers will only increase unless the world understands what is going on.

“I think the main purpose is to show how lucky we are to have the things we do instead of taking them for granted, making us realize how much better lives we have that other people in this world,” sophomore Casey Robbins said.

On Nov. 7, all Cedar Falls students are off from school, so the AIDS project members encourage students to visit from 12-3 p.m.

“I think this helps students to not only look at how other people are luckier than us such as people with more money but to see how lucky we are and to think about donating and helping,” Robbins said.

The exhibit will be held Friday, Nov. 7 – Monday, Nov 10 at Orchard Hill Church. For more details about The Experience, visit or contact Barb McMahon from Orchard Hill at 319-266-9796.

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