Ryan Polei

The Cal Poly community can step into the world of a child affected by AIDS in Africa this week as part of Impact1: The Africa Experience.

Upon entering the Impact1 tent on Dexter Lawn, guests are given an MP3 player with the stories of three different children in Africa who are affected by or have AIDS.

“The goal is to bring awareness to campus,” said Nicole Framberger, the tent coordinator and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship staff member.

“It’s not only good to be aware, but it’s good to be aware coupled with action.”

Impact1 is a partnership between Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and World Vision.

The fellowship is a Cal Poly student group striving to pursue justice and build a multi-ethnic community, while World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide.

“World Vision is on the front lines right now, battling the AIDS pandemic in Africa,” Framberger said.

The tent is available to walk through from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 between noon and midnight.

It will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday night during Open Community Night, and will be open until 5 a.m. on Halloween.

The event is free, but guests are encouraged to donate via the “buck jug,” or to sponsor a child in Africa.

“We have 250 child sponsorship packets available,” Framberger said.

“It costs $30 a month and sponsors get a packet with a picture of the child and their life story. All the money goes straight to the children, providing education, food resources and community-based care.”

If Impact1 raises $12,500 in donations through the “buck jug,” World Vision will match that number to build an AIDS clinic in Africa, Framberger said.

“Doing something this huge, it’s a big deal,” said city and regional planning major Rachel Ortega.

Ortega has already heard about one of the children’s experiences, which was very intense, she said.

“I felt a lot of sorrow and sadness,” she said. “These children don’t deserve this life, but at the end of it there is hope. I was overwhelmed but I think impacting one child does make a difference.”

On Friday, Impact1 will host the Night of Impact in Chumash Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Admission is free, and special guest speaker Princess Kasune Zulu of Zambia will tell her own story as an AIDS orphan.

Princess Zulu has addressed the United Nations, President Bush and major news outlets including USA Today, Fox News and BBC News.

The Night of Impact will also feature testimonies of students on campus and around the world who have participated in the Africa Experience, Framberger said.

“We want to help people engage in what they saw, practically, spiritually and emotionally,” Ortega said. “We can get them thinking about their major and how they can use that to fight injustices anywhere.”

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