IONA's War On HIV/AIDS
Christopher Horn, CEO & Co-Founder, IONA Technologies
Everyone knows what UNICEF is all about. But what many people do not know is how one of UNICEF's key HIV/AIDS initiatives, got a boost from Chris Horn. "UNICEF Ireland's Movie Action for Children" was developed to help fund programs in Africa to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child. It was in 2000 when Chris learned of UNICEF's project. Since then, he has not only inspired his company and employees to financially back the initiative, but also created an official website for the program - putting in place the online marketing program.
In 2002, Chris hosted the largest movie memorabilia auction in the history of Sotheby's Auction House in New York, and pledged IONA's full sponsorship of the project, ensuring that all proceeds from the event go directly to UNICEF's on-going efforts to prevent mother to child HIV transmission in three African countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Ivory Coast. Soon after holding the auction and raising funds for the program, Chris went to Zambia to see the situation for himself. He returned with even great passion - knowing that this project had to be seen to completion. So Chris arranged the necessary funding to underwrite the project and ensure all proceeds go directly to the children.
"Last October I visited Lusaka to witness first-hand the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in Africa. I saw the devastation that the disease is causing: many orphans with both parents dead; unmarried people in their twenties having to look after orphaned nephews and nieces; babies born with HIV dying before their fifth birthday; shortages of professionals in the universities, and hospitals, because of the widespread disease..." he says.
STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS
Chris makes it a point to take some time out of his busy schedule in order to get actively involved with UNICEF Ireland initiatives. "The generosity of Chris and IONA is a disappearing phenomenon in today's business environment," says Maura Quinn, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland.
"IONA is a successful global company, and as its chairman Chris has many obligations. He has made 'Movie Action for Children' a priority however, and added to his busy schedule to ensure that this project is successful in its goal to stop the spread of HIV from mother-to-child in Africa. UNICEF Ireland extends our thanks to Chris and IONA, without whose generous support this project could not have happened," says Maura.
"For many people, families are the most cherished parts of our lives," says Chris. "It is natural to assume we can love and educate our children, share our lives together, and eventually grow old with our families at our sides. Unfortunately, not everyone today can share this dream. We at IONA have spent the last 10 years developing information technology to help computers and software to work together, and through our contributions to UNICEF Ireland and 'Movie Action for Children,' we hope to promote the use of new medical technology to help people work together to prevent the tragedy of HIV/AIDS."
Chris says, "No longer are companies solely judged by their staff, investors, consumers, and the communities in which they operate by their fiscal success. One of our goals is to continue to positively impact the global community while simultaneously achieving business success".
In today's competitive world, he says, corporate responsibility is vital in building an empowered environment within which business can be successful and also benefit the wider society. He notes, "As the challenges facing children become increasingly more deadly, we remain committed to UNICEF as they intensify their efforts to ensure the rights of every child to health, education, equality and protection."
For UNICEF's work world-wide, please visit www.unicef.org.
For more information on UNICEF Ireland, please visit www.unicef.ie
Dr. Christopher J. Horn is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of IONA Technologies (established 1991) Dublin, Ireland. He was the initial developer of Orbix® and held the joint offices of IONA's President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board from IONA's inception until May 2000. Chris served as the Chairman of the Board of IONA from May 2000 to May 2003.Chris can be reached for article feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org