Wednesday, October 8, 2003


Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence

Physician Exchange Program

Secure the Future Background

HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

Nursing Education Program

HIV Curriculum for the Health Professional

Art Exchange Program

Hope Ambassador Doll Art Program

Online Application



Hope Ambassador Doll Art Project

Laura Bush and Hope
Laura Bush visited the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence in July 2003

People infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS face many obstacles, including isolation, stigmatization and discrimination. People living with HIV/AIDS often reside in resource-limited settings with limited access to treatment and peer support. Medical settings can be strange and unfamiliar, especially if the individual never has had a need to access medical treatment prior to the diagnosis of HIV infection. Art therapy can reduce anxiety and stress that occur in the medical setting. Art therapy also can help reduce stigmatization, discrimination, and feelings of isolation, and may serve as a tool for promoting adherence to medications. The Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative has initiated an art project known as the Hope Ambassador Doll Project. This project aims to provide an element of fun within the clinic setting, while at the same time fostering communication, connectedness, HIV education, group support, adherence to medications, and destigmatization of HIV/AIDS among children, caregivers and health care professionals.

Hope is born!

Hope, with some of her friends, who were created by HIV-infected children in Botswana

A child who is infected with HIV/AIDS created Hope. Hope is the Ambassador for our doll project. She accompanies the other dolls to clinics throughout the world, spreading the message “I know there is Hope, because I have seen her with my own eyes.” She offers friendship and support to HIV-infected children worldwide. “Hope” is used as an educational tool, giving the many children infected with or affected by HIV, a face and a voice to spread awareness and education about HIV/AIDS. Hope made her first trip to Gaborone, Botswana in July, 2002. At that time, many children and families in the clinic were asked to paint blank cotton muslin dolls before and/or after clinic appointments. They were given the option to keep their first doll or leave it in the clinic to travel with Hope. Children and family members were encouraged to write a note describing themselves, their feelings about living with HIV/AIDS, and their feelings about taking medications. A photograph of the “artist” was taken and this was attached to the doll, along with the artist’s message. Some of the dolls traveled with Hope back to the United States, and others traveled to Romania, where other HIV-infected and affected children have had the opportunity to take the dolls as gifts and read the attached messages sent by their young friends in Botswana. These children, in turn, have created their own dolls that have traveled back to Botswana and elsewhere around the world. Children will be empowered to help other children by demonstrating to them that they are not alone, thereby helping to eliminate feelings of isolation and discrimination. Ultimately, the Hope Ambassador Doll Project hopes to connect thousands of HIV-infected and affected children in dozens of centers in the United States and around the world.


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Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative
Last Updated: September 12, 2003
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