An entire ocean of advocates gathered in a night of love and pride to celebrate the astounding breakthroughs in the HIV and AIDS advocacy. Love Gala 2017 ended with a splash as the first ever Ripple Awards featured 10 individuals who made groundbreaking contributions to the cause.
One of the Ripple Awardees honored is Jebsen Rederri Go Gamido, also known as Positiong Marino in the field. Jebsen founded Positibong Marino Philippines, Inc. (PMPI) with eight co-founding members in 2015.
PMPI is a community of HIV and AIDS education advocates in the maritime field. The organization aims to eliminate stigma against seafarers who live with HIV, and to provide support services to empower PLHIV seafarers and their families.
Jebsen describes his organization as a “fairly young” one, and is still focused on developing strategies and systems to better serve their constituents.
Looking back to the day of his recognition, Jebsen describes the moment as feeling “alive”. He further emphasizes that the award solidified their commitment to the advocacy. “It is a testament to the commitment we have stood up to in the first place which is fighting for the rights of HIV Positive Seafarers globally,” Gamido added.
Jebsen continues to be active in the advocacy he initiated and has become more invested in it that ever before. He highlights the main objectives of his organization’s work: to help PLHIV seafarers establish their career, to provide a safe space for everyone, and to create a community that is free from stigma.
According to Jebsen, being recognized as a Ripple Awardee made him realize the responsibility of sharing with his fellow leaders both the beauty and the challenges of the initiative that they started.
He adds, “It is also a challenge to not let the ripple stop but to create even more ripples of change in the community. To sustain the ripple as to sustain the program. To not allow the ripple to stop but to pass it over”
With a brave heart and an undying spirit, Jebsen Gamido is a true trailblazer in the HIV and AIDS advocacy.
Join us and witness who will be this next Ripplers and awardees for this year’s Ripple Awards. Know more about Ripple Awards 2018 here.