KUALA LUMPUR - The children giggled as they got up close and personal with their favourite celebrities.
"I have always wanted to meet Aaron Aziz. I like him in the TV show Oh My English because the character he plays is funny and witty," said 12-year-old Yana (not her real name).
Yana was among the 40 children who attended Nur Ramadhan, a breaking of fast event on Friday with Malaysian AIDS Council's Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters Aaron Aziz, Fahrin Ahmad and Hafiz Hamidun. It was organised by Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) in partnership with Sime Darby Group at the WAKE 1 Shelter Home to celebrate not just children but other communities affected by HIV.
"I couldn't be any happier, seeing the smiles on the faces of the children. Having raised three children of my own, I can only imagine how tough the challenges are that the children are facing," said Aaron, who joined the celebrity HIV awareness movement last year.
He also said that he had always wanted to help children and young people in crisis. "I want them to know that with the medicines that we have now, living with HIV is a life worth living. I encourage young people at risk to get tested and seek treatment immediately if required. They only need to be concerned about keeping healthy - leave the job of addressing the stigma and discrimination to us, the Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters."
Sime Darby Group and MAF also distributed Hari Raya green packets to the children.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur and Maybank Berhad presented MAF with cheques of RM50,000 and RM75,334, respectively, that would go towards treatment and support for underprivileged Malaysians living with HIV in need of antiretrovirals.
MAF chairman Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said it was heartening that the corporate sector's response to HIV was still "very much alive".