World Vitiligo Day 2015
This year, the World Vitiligo Day campaign headquarters were in Shenyang, China, under the presidency of Prof. Xing-Hua Gao, MD. 12 major hospitals across the country received vitiligo patients and held education events around June 25th. Hundreds of vehement volunteers raised awareness for vitiligo on the streets and in the media.
However, this year all events started much earlier, - on 13 Feb 2015, when the General Body Meeting of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), the largest representing society of Indian Dermatologists, has approved the changing of IADVL VITILIGO Day from May 19th to 25th June.
Here is a quick rundown of events with photos that were held on June 25, 2015 in the World Vitiligo Day's capital in CHINA, and in Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Ghana, India, Italy, France, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, USA. See more photos on Instagram or videos on YouTube, or read a great post by Dr. John Harris. At the VR Foundation, we held celebrations in New York and joined VITFriends in Boston.
The following 13 states in the US now recognize vitiligo awareness in the month of June, thanks to the salient efforts of Natasha Pierre McCarthy, CEO & Founder of Vitiligo Bond, and state volunteers: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.
Above all, Vitiligo Bond received a letter from the President Barack Obama's office in recognition of vitiligo advocacy matters.
A heavy box with more than 10,000 leaflets is now on it's way from campaign headquarters in Shenyang to our office. Another 1,400+ petitions are being processed by Ogo Maduewesi in Nigeria. We will adjust the petition counter on 25June.org once we receive the exact number but it is clear that the campaign has reached its ambitious goal of collecting 500,000 petitions!
Huge thanks to everyone who took part in the World Vitiligo Day celebrations this year! We look forward to making the next year event even bigger!! Please send you thoughts and comments on how to make the campaign stronger to info@25June.org
Many of you ask general questions about the World Vitiligo Day campaign, so here is a rundown of the most common queries:
- How many signatures do we need to have the World Vitiligo Day recognized by the United Nations or the World Health Organization?
There is no official guide "How To Proclaim The World <Something> Day" and thus we don't know for sure what would it take. Some groups have achieved similar goals with many thousands of participants.
For example, a dedicated team of International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) spent ten years rallying for the World Psoriasis Day. After two unsuccessful attempts, it was finally recognized by the WHO in May 2014.
We hope that you are one of nearly half a million people who have signed petition to the UN Secretary General, asking for June 25th to be officially designated World Vitiligo Day. The more names we have, the stronger we are – so thank you for your support.
- What is your current progress with the officials?
VR Foundation applied for a membership with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations’ central platform for debate and innovative thinking on sustainable development and other issues like healthcare or disabilities. This membership would allow us to bring the World Vitiligo Day on the UN agenda and hopefully have it approved by the UN General Assembly. In the meantime, we are supporting lobbying activities of other groups in the US, Vitiligo Bond (Georgia) and VITFriends (Massachusetts), and participating in the World Vitiligo Alliance.
- Which country do the most petition signatures come from?
That distinction currently belongs to India, followed by the US, Indonesia and then China (where campaign website seems to be unavailable for most people). You can see a full, up to date breakdown here.
- Is there an official color, image or logo for WVD?
In a word, no! We encourage individual organizations to use whatever works best for them. VITSAF in Nigeria, for example, uses purple, whereas others are using a black and white combination.
- Is there a WVD T-shirt?
Yes, thanks to Olumide Omololu who won a competition in 2014 to design an ‘unofficial’ WVD T-shirt. This proved so popular that we distributed 1500 of the shirts to support groups across the world, but we have now run out of stock. So, if you want to wear WVD T-Shirt, try doing it yourself - just download the design file you like from here and then send or take it to a print on demand T-shirt shop.
- Do you have anything I can use to help promote WVD?
Yes, we have put together a media toolkit to help you launch local awareness campaigns. Go to our Download Center and scroll down to the ‘Media’ section to find the relevant downloads.
- What can I do to help?
Signing the petition and telling people about WVD is a great start. More specifically, we are currently asking dermatologists and beauty clinics to offer free skin check-ups for vitiligo and other pigmentation disorders on or around June 25th. Last year, 50+ participating doctors and clinics in 17 countries provided free consultations to well over three thousand patients. So, if you’re a dermatologist or beautician, or you know somebody who is and can help us, we would love to hear from you. If you already have something planned for World Vitiligo Day then please do let us know. We’ll add your activity to our WVD calendar of events.
- Where will be the campaign headquarters in 2016?
VRF Board of Directors and WVD Steering Committee have chosen Prague, Czech Republic, as campaign’s 2016 headquarters. At the axis of Europe, this beautiful city is a center of dermatology ideas and home to a number of young, intelligent and engaged skin specialists. It also has much to offer the visitor, from its stunning architecture and river, to its vibrant cultural scene and famed beer halls and cafés.
Prof. Xing Hua Gao and amazing World Vitiligo Day 2015 team.
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
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