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Virtual Africa exhibit dramatizes effects of AIDS on communities

February 26, 2009
The nationally touring, interactive World Vision Experience: AIDS exhibit will travel to Arizona State University’s West campus March 15-22 to raise awareness about the effects of the AIDS pandemic on children in developing countries.

Visitors to the free exhibit will view the AIDS crisis through the eyes of a child in an AIDS-affected community in Africa. World Vision Experience: AIDS features an audio tour, coupled with dramatic photography, to provide visitors with a new perspective on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.

The exhibit, which has been presented in numerous communities across the United States, is making its first appearance in Arizona. World Vision Experience: AIDS is sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement on ASU’s West campus, in cooperation with World Vision, a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

“World Vision is giving Valley residents an opportunity to see, hear and experience in a personal way the lives of children whose worlds have been devastated by AIDS,” says Kevin Cook, dean of student affairs at ASU’s West campus. “We invite the local community to join us as we do our part to make a difference in the lives of those most affected by this disease – our children.”

Visitors to the 2,500-square-foot exhibit will walk though a replica of an African village while listening on headsets to a story of a child whose life has been affected by AIDS. The stories profiled in the exhibit are those of four real children touched by the work of World Vision, and are inspired by true events.

World Vision Experience: AIDS visited 75 cities during 2007/2008, and is slated to visit 40 more in 2009.  Approximately 4,000 to 5,000 visitors are expected to tour the exhibit in each city during a typical eight-day stay.

“World Vision, unfortunately, cannot take thousands of Americans to Africa to witness the tragedy of the AIDS pandemic personally,” says Richard E. Stearns, president and CEO of World Vision, U.S. “So we've created this exhibit to enable people to ‘step into Africa’ and learn more about the effects of the greatest humanitarian disaster of our time and how they can help. No one can do everything, but each of us can to something to help turn the tide against AIDS.”

World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. More information about the organization is available at

Exhibit hours are:
Sunday, March 15: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday, March 16: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 19: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, March 20: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 21: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 22: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

World Vision Experience: AIDS is not recommended for children under 12; parental discretion is advised. For more information, or to schedule a time for a large group to visit the exhibit, call the Office of Student Engagement at (602) 543-8200.

ASU’s West campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix; the exhibit will be housed in the La Sala ballroom in the campus’s University Center Building.