Local celebrities bring smiles to people affected by HIV and AIDS and use their power to spread awareness on the issue.

Ramadan is a time of reflection and giving, and instead of just offering material and monetary help, the people behind Iftar Ramadhan Bersama Komuniti Yang Disayangi also shared something more important – the awareness on HIV and AIDS issues.

Jointly organised by NGC Energy and Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF), and co-sponsored by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the event hosted over 50 children living with HIV as well as those from underprivileged households affected by HIV from the Klang Valley during the breaking of fast event last week.

“HIV/AIDS is an important issue that needs to be addressed by every Malaysian. We shouldn’t shy away from the topic because we don’t know anything about it, and if you don’t know anything about the disease, then (all the) more reason that you should be aware of it,” said MAF Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporter Hafiz Hamidun.

Malaysian AIDS Foundation Honorary Secretary Hisham Hussein (third from right) accepts a mock cheque worth RM25,000 from NGC Energy Chairman Sheikh Abdulla Suleiman Hamed Al-Harthy (third from left) as contribution to the Foundation's Nur Ramadhan fundraising drive. The cheque presentation is witnessed by Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters Aaron Aziz (far left), Fahrin Ahmad (second from left), Hafiz Hamidun (second from right) and Bob Yusof (far right).

The nasyid singer was joined by fellow MAF Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters Aaron Aziz, Bob Yusof, Fahrin Ahmad and Shah Shamsiri who came together to lend their support towards MAF’s cause in assisting people affected by HIV and AIDS as well as disseminate information on the pertinent issue.

“We are doing all we can to help MAF to spread the awareness HIV and AIDS. I have 1.4 million fans on Facebook and often use it as a platform to share knowledge on HIV and AIDS with my fans. I don’t see any harm in talking about HIV and AIDS. This is a topic that must be discussed by all because the number of people affected by the disease is increasing by the year. And one way to stop the spread is by educating people. We cannot keep quiet and assume that people know what it is all about,” said Hafiz.

The entertainer added that the rest of the MAF Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters also put their social media standings to good use.

“It cannot be denied that many people look up to us and listen when we have something to say. Here, we have something really important to say, and we use all our social media platforms to help make our work easier.”

At the event, NGC Energy general manager Julianna Kamaruddin said: “We remain deeply committed to our corporate philosphy of a people-oriented business, and will continue to explore ways through which we can enhance community empowerment to sustain MAF’s efforts to provide lifesaving HIV treatment, care and support services.”

NGC Energy also pledged a RM25,000 donation to MAF’s Nur Ramadhan fundrasing drive as well as continued its cooking gas sponsorship programme for 22 shelter homes in the country.