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Diasporia News of Thursday, 21 May 2015

Source: GNA

Ghanaian scoops prestigious British award

Reverend Fred Osei Annin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Actionplus, a health charity, has won this year’s Diversity Champion Award for the Charity Sector, for championing the cause of those living with HIV and AIDS.

According to a release made available to the Ghana News Agency by Excellence in Diversity Awards, organisers of the event, “Reverend Fred Annin beat four other hopefuls in the running for the Diversity Champion Award in the Charity Sector, for his courageous charitable efforts in campaigning against the HIV stigma in UK and Africa.”

Rev Fred, who is a native of Kwahu Obomeng in the Eastern Region, founded Actionplus Foundation (UK) in 1997 to campaign against HIV prejudice, which operates both in the church and in the community.

“His quest was to intervene in the growing number of people living with HIV, most of whom are from the African Community.”

The release said Rev Annin was applauded at the ceremony for leading the campaign, targeting the black African churches and encouraging communities to interact with their pastors to educate them about HIV and the benefits of early testing.

“In 2007, Rev Fred opened the branch of Actionplus Foundation in Ghana and successfully led his charity to reduce the rate of HIV infection in the country from 3.6 percent in 2007 to 1.3 percent in 2013.”

Actionplus became the first HIV organisation in the UK to open an HIV testing centre in a church and additionally opened four testing centres across London. This is a major breakthrough towards HIV intervention in the UK and Africa.

The release said Simone Roche, Northern Power Women, presented the award saying “Fred's extraordinary achievements have been accomplished without resorting to funding, relying on donations and his personal sacrifice to the cause, a truly astonishing achievement”.

The prestigious black-tie event has attracted a growing list of top employers including ITV, PwC and Thomson Reuters.

Founder Paul Sesay, who welcomed guests at the breathtaking Midland Hotel, Manchester, said, "our aim is to have innovative and truly diverse award ceremony, celebrating employers and diversity champions that excel in the field of inclusion. It is through people like you, that change can happen."