In Recognition of World AIDS Day the Hospice Community Launches Effort to Conquer Pain in Africa

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2012

FHSSA’s Online Crowdfunding Site will Raise Awareness and Support

(Alexandria, Va) – December 1 is World AIDS Day, a time of international outreach to raise awareness of the global AIDS pandemic. Nowhere has the magnitude of the pandemic been felt more strongly than in sub-Saharan Africa.

UNAIDS offers some statistics on HIV/AIDS in the region that underscores the need:

  • In 2011, there were an estimated 1.8 million [1.6 million–2 million] new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • An estimated 23.5 million [22.1–24.8 million] people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 69% of the global HIV burden.

More than 90 hospices in the U.S. are partnering with palliative care programs in Africa to help alleviate suffering and provide support in 15 African countries where hospice and palliative care is desperately needed. This is being done through the innovative Partnership Program of FHSSA (founded in 1999 as the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa).

Each year FHSSA and its program partners touch the lives of 400,000 people affected by AIDS, cancer and other illnesses. Support between partners comes through the provision of necessary supplies that may be in short supply in Africa, by sharing expertise and best practices, through fundraising efforts in U.S. communities, and perhaps, most importantly, through relationship building.

In recognition of World AIDS Day, FHSSA is launching its first crowdfunding site to help raise awareness and support for its work. 

Crowdfunding describes an effort by individuals who network and pool their resources to support a cause. The goal of FHSSA’s first crowdfunding campaign will focus on raising support for FHSSA’s Conquering Pain project. Pain among individuals with a serious illness is often unaddressed or under-treated.

“Even one dollar can make a difference when you’re working to help communities in sub-Saharan Africa where the need is great and resources are so limited,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of FHSSA. “Our crowdfunding site is a new, interactive way for anyone – regardless of age or income – to donate and share among friends and family in order to make a profound difference for people in Africa who are struggling with illness and living in pain.”

“In the ten years since we’ve launched the FHSSA partnering initiative, one of the most powerful things we’ve seen is the deep friendships that develop between U.S. hospices and African programs. The spirit of giving goes both ways, as partners in the U.S. benefit just as much as the people they are supporting on another continent.”

“Knowledge, like compassion, has no borders,” Schumacher added.

To help support the fight against pain, visit the FHSSA crowdfunding page.

FHSSA is based in Alexandria, Virginia at the National Center for Care at the End of Life. Along with its affiliate organizations, the National Hospice Foundation, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Hospice Action Network, FHSSA shares the vision of a world where individuals and families facing serious illness, death, and grief will experience the best that humankind can offer.

Learn more about FHSSA at


Jennifer Ford