Monday, 1 December 2008

Karuna opens as a resource for HIV/AIDS education and support

There is so much talk about SL and how it damages “real life” (RL) relationships that I decided to spend some time in SL to see what might be curative and helpful.

Today, Monday December 1st, is world AIDS day and a new resource has opened up on the island of Karuna funded by the National Library of Medicine dedicated to HIV/AIDS education, outreach and support. Carolina Keats the islands owner kindly spent some time talking to me.

For the opening day today there were a number of events including a workshop on storytelling to help showcase the kinds of ongoing support that will be on offer. At the heart of this facility is the “Garden of Experience” where poetry, photo’s, music and storytelling using video and writing will allow members to communicate their own experiences around HIV and AIDS. There is space set aside for a social worker based in the US to offer therapeutic listening and there are plans to extend this to a counselling service.

Despite the negative publicity that Second Life often gets there are many projects that strive to fit the meaning of this islands name “Karuna”, which embodies the desire to remove harm and suffering, and to bring about the well-being and happiness of others.

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