New International Cricket Council’s ThinkWise champion Stafanie Taylor visited a community project in St Kitts this week to show her support for cricket’s global HIV and AIDS campaign.

The West Indies star player, who is among the Top 10 batters and Top 5 allrounders in the women’s game, was joined by teammate Stacy-Ann King in visiting Project Viola which aims to provide services and support to the teen mothers in school whilst contributing to breaking the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse common to teen mothers and their children in the long-term. It primarily targets pregnant students and/or student mothers who have been attending high school.

The visit was the latest activity as part of the Think Wise programme, a joint partnership between the ICC, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Global Media AIDS Initiative, to raise awareness of HIV and reduce stigma and discrimination. The 18-year-old Taylor, who was unveiled as a ThinkWise Champion earlier in the year, and King had the opportunity to learn about the work of the project and share common experiences.

Among the services provided to participants are counseling, skills training and work experience, as well as scholarships. Girls are also encouraged to participate in special workshops that cover issues including sessions on family planning, conflict resolution, self-development, AIDS prevention, teen sexuality, interviewing, workplace ethics small business and entrepreneurship, nutrition, parenting and communication.

At the ICC World Twenty20 2010, a number of activities have taken place involving high profile players such as Graeme Smith, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara interacting with local community groups.

A new Public service announcements targeted at young people in the Caribbean is being played on the big screen at the major matches and aired across the region. This public service announcement, which features leading Caribbean celebrities, is part of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership’s Live UP campaign that is being aired by 95 top broadcast media houses across 24 countries in the Caribbean.

Taylor stars in this campaign, alongside leading Caribbean musical artists Alison Hinds, Bunji Garlin, Claudette Peters, Fay Ann Lyons and Mr Vegas, and she was delighted to extend her support to the Think Wise programme by visiting Project Viola.

“It was a great experience to visit the project in St Kitts and see the important work that is done to help young people within the Caribbean develop life skills and protect themselves against HIV,” said Taylor.

“I believe that it is very important that more continues to be done to help young people within the region. Hopefully by being involved in the Think Wise campaign, particularly in the Caribbean, I can encourage young people to get the facts, get tested and protect themselves from HIV.

“By using my profile to help spread this message, by featuring in a public service announcement campaign around this tournament, hopefully I can reach out to my peers and be a positive role model.”