Designers partner with PIUMA to fight HIV-AIDS

In early 2007, PIUMA began two partnerships that used creative design strategies to bring attention to its message and demands.

Through EAWM, it partnered with the teachers and students at HBLA Herbststrasse in Vienna to design a traditional Tanzanian "kanga cloth". A kanga is a standard-sized, printed cotton cloth that includes a slogan as well as a patterned design. The kanga is a particularly meaningful gift exchanged by women and has a variety of uses in East Africa homes.

Four HBLA students (Tina Hammerschmidt, Nina Bedenik, Sukie Polleros, and Claudia Jirku) worked via Internet with a committee of PIUMA volunteers in Tanzania to create two kanga designs that are now going to Tanzania for consideration by PIUMA.

"We were impressed by the power and strength of the women of PIUMA," says Tina Hammerschmidt. "PIUMA members say that they are ´strong like a lion` (imara kama samba) so we used images of women and of a lion breaking the chains of ignorance and stigma that make the HIV epidemic worse for the people."

PIUMA also connected with the Montreal branding and design firm Origami to create a new logo that reflects its strength and hope.
"PIUMA is impressive in its ability to explain its purpose and mission," says Michael Wou, Design Principal at Origami. "We are very pleased to have been brought together with PIUMA by the Highlands Hope project."

Highlands Hope is a small network of HIV clinics and activists groups in the southern highlands of Tanzania (

"This kind of creativity and design excellence is a powerful weapon in our fight to save our people," says Jackson Mbogela, Coordinator of PIUMA in Bulongwa, Tanzania. "We value partners like the design students from Vienna and Origami."