On February 12th 2013, at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, the Global Working Group on Faith, SSDDIM and HIV Secretariat Planning Meeting with Kenya Based Members was held to discuss the successes thus far from member organizations as well as future goals. The global working group was formed in 2009 on August 29th from 17 countries to promote HIV and AIDS prevention. This organization was formed based on the issue that they needed a behind the disease approach facing all the issues to ensure social justice. The Global Working Group is both a forum and social movement of individual people, leaders, organizations, networks and communities of faith whose goal is to significantly contribute to global efforts to halt, reverse and overcome new HIV and AIDS infections, illnesses and deaths in the ECSA region and beyond through adopting, implementing and advocating for leadership and governance approaches and strategies on HIV and AIDS that are effective in: reducing the stigma, shame, denial, discrimination, inaction and miss-action.
The OAIC works with the Global Working Group and attended this conference to focus on its successes on HIV and AIDS training community enablers as well as continue to find ways to work with partner organizations to promote its message. At OAIC we started engaging the issue of HIV and AIDS in 1995 and since then have trained many TOT’s in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. The TOT’s the OAIC trains are taken through sensitization of leadership and training them on prevention, care and support to build the policy of churches. At the OAIC we normally talk of engaging with our churches on every issue in critical solidarity. For example Bishop Gishimu spoke on behalf of the OAIC said that at a workshop in Tanzania he saw a Bishop articulating through the book of Ruth and accepting his wrong interpretation of this book. The OAIC does come with weakness but our endeavourer is to build on our strengths and continue to train community leaders on HIV and AIDS. The objectives of this annual planning was to continue to build leadership momentum generated by the 2012 Global Race to SAVE Lives fro HIV and AIDS Conference that occurred in Lilongwe- Malawi recently. The priority activities on the meeting for planning for 2013 to 2014 was on the following; strategic planning, resource mobilization, implementation of the four strategic objectives and partnerships strengthening as well as communication strengthening. The meeting also seeks to promote research monitoring and evaluation, which will be taken on by St. Paul’s University.
The goals are to continue the SAVE campaign which includes; safer practices, access to treatment and nutrition, voluntary counseling and testing, empowerment- stigma, shame, denial, discrimination, inaction and miss-action which will ultimately contribute to millions of Africans saved from HIV and AIDS. Through this campaign, four major objectives were put into place to address the SAVE campaigns. These objectives are the goals we need to reach in order to bring about the strategic outcomes (which will be described later) the first objective is to utilize the 150,000+ faith leaders who have a greater capacity in SSDDIM Reduction and SAVE Multiplication actions. The second objective is to utilize the 70,000+ congregations engaged in SSDDIM reduction, SAVE Multiplication and SEDOPPS. The third strategic objective is to have an enabling policy, investment, and legal and ensure that an institutional environment exists (which through the help of St. Paul’s we have successfully created). The fourth and final objective is to ensure good quality, up to date, accurate HIV information available to all ECSA faith communities. At this conference we discussed continuing this campaign and also amplification of through stronger communication among member organizations and countries. The Global Working group also seeks to continue to facilitate this global movement to improve and empower its African communities.
St. Paul’s is a research driven institution, community research especially on HIV and AIDS. This is where the Global Working Group will begin in coalition with St. Paul’s and comprises the team for driving this research to develop the working guidelines for the global campaign is based on. This research will be able to help asses the needs for local communities and areas around our countries that we work so the Global Working Group can better address the needs of its people.
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