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July 25, 2012

Eyes & Ears Open at International AIDS Conference

As the Executive Chef at Food & Friends, I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to attend the XIX International AIDS Conference yesterday.

Executive Chef, Mark Locraft, next to World Food Programme
booth in Global Village at the XIX International AIDS Conference.
While at the conference, I participated in the session “Community Matters: Building Support and Capacity for Community-Based Service Delivery.” The session primarily focused on exploring the concept that “community support systems are effective horizontal structures to provide care and support … [engaging] community volunteers … has proven very effective in providing various HIV-related services in low and middle-income countries.”

In addition to the session, it was a privilege to walk through the exhibitions, visit the Global Village and have the opportunity to speak with representatives from NIH, the FDA and the World Food Programme. I truly benefited from this experience both professionally and personally.

Professionally, yesterday I learned ways to become a better chef and how to lead my team of chefs in improving our food program so as to better nourish and strengthen our clients. It was nice to be reminded that for our clients living with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses, the food we provide not only offers physical nourishment, but is extremely important in providing emotional and mental nourishment as well.

Personally, I was inspired by the determination of everyone who is attending the conference. It is encouraging to see, first-hand, the global involvement in fighting AIDS and to be surrounded by a group of people who share a true sense of purposefulness.

Overall, I walked away amazed by how much knowledge and wisdom you can gain when you keep your mind, heart, eyes and ears OPEN. 

Mark Locraft
Executive Chef

Learn more about this week’s International AIDS Conference.

1 comment:

  1. If you really have open mind, heart, eyes and ears watch the award-winning documentary House of Numbers. You can see details of the awards and watch a trailer here and watch the documentary in full here