Xola represented children whose lives have been affected by AIDS.
Xola Dubula, South Africa, was a member of the jury from 2003 to 2006, representing children whose lives have been affected by AIDS.
Xola fi ghts for the right of children with HIV/AID to be respected and well treated. His mother has HIV.
‘People are afraid of AIDS, so they behave unjustly. When my mum, who is a teacher, admitted on TV that she was infected with HIV, the principal at her school fired her. We were forced to move into a hut, and we didn’t have enough money for food. But now mum works as an AIDS advisor, and we have moved into a brick house.
‘I want people with HIV to get treatment so that they can survive, and I want orphaned children to get good homes.’
Xola belongs to a children’s group that supports children with AIDS victims in their families. The group visits schools to teach other children not to be afraid of people with AIDS, and not to treat them badly.
‘When I heard about Nkosi Johnson and what he had done for children with AIDS, it got my courage up. When I talked with my teacher and my schoolmates, they understood. They didn’t bully me the way adults had done with my mother.’
‘Most kids my age don’t see themselves as children. It’s because the adults don’t protect them and don’t treat them as children or respect the Rights of the Child. So, many kids steal and use weapons,’ says Xola.