CABSA was at ... 2011

You can read more about a few of the many events and activities CABSA staff and co-workers attend:

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Lyn @PACANet General Assembly and Pre-ICASA Conference 30/11 - 2/12/2011

Lyn attended the PACANet General Assembly in  Addis Abeba on the 30th November 2011. Delegates had the opportunity to reflect on the past and also to look forward to the future of the organisation. CABSA was a founder members of this organisation, and our interaction was taken to the next level when Lyn was elected as one of the new board members who will guide the organisation into the next phase of its development. CABSA and PACANet share the dream of  the church responding to its calling around HIV in a comprehensive, caring and competent manner, and there is much synergy between the organisations. The new Board members will get to know each other and start planning for the future at a Board orientation session which is being planned for the end of January.

On the 1-2nd of December, Lyn attended the 4th PACANet Pre ICASA conference with the theme "Accelerating a Grassroots Church Movement for a Sustainable HIV and AIDS Response", which was also held in Addis Abeba.

A selection of the presentation can be found on the PACANet website and the Communiqué is available below.

Having attended a number of previous conferences of this kind, Lyn was particularly impressed by the greater depth of discussions, and a greater willingness to address difficult issues: "I think this really reflects greater HIV competence from faith communities," Lyn said.  "I was also impressed by the fact that we in Africa are starting to look within ourselves for solutions and resources. I have never heard so many people emphasising the untapped resources we as church in Africa have."

PACANet 4th Pre-ICASA Conference Communiqué

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st-2nd December 2011

Accelerating a Grassroots Church Movement for a Sustainable HIV and AIDS Response


From 1st to 2nd December 2011, in Desalegn Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Pan African Christian AIDS Network (PACANet) convened a conference, ahead of the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), to explore and debate, from a Christian perspective, the issues of ownership, scaling-up and sustainability of the Church’s response to HIV and AIDS in Africa.

The event in Addis Ababa was hosted by PACANet, in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Agency, NORAD and the Danish Mission Council Development Department, and assisted locally by a team lead by the Swedish Philadelphia Church Mission and made up of representatives from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Evangelical Church Fellowship of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Catholic Church.

The purpose of the conference was to review progress of the Church’s response to HIV and AIDS in Africa, to renew its resolve to own and scale-up Church responses and to chart a road-map for a sustainable way forward.

n attendance were 151 participants (87 males and 64 females) from 30 countries (25 from within the continent). The participants represented leaders and practitioners from different church backgrounds, including the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, African Instituted Churches, the Evangelical movement and the mainline established churches.

PACANet is a continental networking body that seeks to link churches, Christian organizations and networks in Africa to enhance their HIV and AIDS responses by sharing ideas, skills, experiences and resources and to stimulate strategic partnerships. Given this mission, PACANet is dedicated to holding a Pre-ICASA Conference, every two years, ahead of the ICASA.

Participants of the 4th PACANet Pre-ICASA conference committed to the following statement.


We call for:

1. The Shifting of Paradigms

  • A move from destructive and negative paradigms (i.e. punishment and stigmatization) to constructive and life promoting paradigms focusing on the promotion of human identity and human dignity.
  • Appropriate and meaningful involvement in daily life issues at grassroots level within the local framework of the African cultural context.
  • A deliberate and urgent effort to harmonize faith and science, belief and life.
  • An emphasis on teaching about identity in Christ alongside the focus on preaching and the proclamation of the gospel.

2. The Quest for Competence

  • The church to adopt an inclusive model, where we “do the right thing” as well as being the “right church” at grassroots level. This should encompass inner competence (i.e. personal responses; local responsibility; recognition of the impact and risk factors; compassionate involvement; unmasking stigma, discrimination and denial associated with HIV & AIDS), outer competence (i.e. technical competence and strategic planning; appropriate theological knowledge; networking within an inclusive social approach; promotion of dignity and hope) and the bridge between inner and outer competence (i.e. leadership, knowledge and resources).

3. Sustainability

  • Discipline in thought, words and actions so as to realize sustainability relevant for development outcomes; benchmarks; long term motivation; sources and resources.

4. Fundraising and Resources

  • A shift from fundraising from abroad to fundraising within the capacity of the African setting; i.e. tapping the resources within local communities and believers.
  • The linking of financial resources with the development of “human capital”: invest in human potential development.

5. The Reframing of the Notion of Human Sexuality

  • The Church to adopt a constructive educational model for the promotion of the understanding of human sexuality within the Church, which includes educational youth models on sex and sexuality from the Christian perspective, beyond the merely “no-sex-before-marriage” paradigm.
  • An understanding of the Christian spiritual purpose and meaning of human sexuality; an integrative understanding of our being human, beyond the schism (dualism) between body and soul; the sacredness of intercourse; the sanctification of the human body and its sexual functioning.

6. Mainstreaming HIV and AIDS in church practice (The Quest for a Grassroots Kingdom of God Model)

  • Mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS with emphasis on service delivery to grassroots communities and on integrating HIV and AIDS related issues into programmes of church ministries.
  • We call for a “Kingdom of God” centred model which would include:
    • A small group approach;
    • Home care and ARV Treatment
    • A community focused approach;
    • The incorporation of local people and identification of community leaders.
  • Special attention to be given to palliative care in order to improve the quality of life of those with life-limiting illnesses.

7. Advocacy and Christian Leadership

  • Training and leadership formation that focus on passion; compassion; excellence; the energizing of human potential and resources.
  • The inclusion of religious leaders infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in local projects as agents of change.

8. The Reframing of Power

  • The reframing of power, whether male or female, as both are exposed to vulnerability and should be approached from the perspective of human dignity.
  • The consideration of issues such as power abuse and the treatment of women; the position of males within feminist campaigns; the acknowledgement of the work done by women on grassroots level; the challenge how to incorporate males within “women care giving work”; loveless and inhumane stigmatization and discrimination within the realm of human sexuality.

9. Networking

  • The formation of new partnerships, including North–South, as well as South–South partnerships; interdenominational cooperation; interfaith interaction; inclusion of both the private and public sector.
  • The overcoming of “denominationalism” (barriers due to doctrine, church polity, and confessional issues) and the joining of hands as together we can do more and better.

10. The Interplay between the Social Media and Culturality

  • The Church to explore avenues of incorporating the media within the notions of advocacy and the communication of appropriate knowledge regarding HIV & AIDS; the link between cultural traditions and the notion of human sexuality.
  • An understanding of the interplay between culture, tradition and globalization.


In light of the above, we, the participants of the 4th PACANet Pre-ICASA conference, commit to contribute to the current UNAIDS slogan and perspective: “zero discrimination; zero new infections; zero HIV & AIDS related deaths”, by adopting the following strategic resolve: “zero incompetent churches at grassroots level”.

For further information please contact: Rev Edward Baralemwa, Executive Secretary, PACANet,

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Logy @ SAHARA: The Role of FBOs in the fight against the HIV/AIDS Pandemic 1/12/2011

CABSA Founder Ms Logy Murray represented CABSA partners WorldVision, CABSA and the Dutch Reformed Church in this discussion:

Due to time limits Logy could not present all her thoughts, but we copy the text of the presentation she would have liked to give!

Contribution to the SAHARA Round Table Discussion

The Role of faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic

I am so glad for the space created at this conference to also focus on the role of faith based organizations - also asking the question:  Are we turning the tide on HIV and AIDS?  I know the topic for this section is “The Role of faith based organizations (FBOs) in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, but I would have loved to rephrase this to read: Faith inspired organisations respond to HIV and AIDS! Why the changes?

  • (1)   FBOs – who are they?  Churches, mosques, synagogues, congregations?  Or perhaps people inspired by their faith to respond – forming NGOs?  I believe we talk about all of them!  Actually I am representing the full spectrum!  I am here on representing my own church – the Dutch Reformed Church!  But I also represent two Christian organizations, formed and inspired by Christians:  The Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa, and World Vision International.
  • (2)   Changing from “fighting” to “responding”!  If we continue using “battle” language, we will keep on pushing people living with HIV into the arena of a fight.  I would rather visualize a group of passionate people engaging seriously at all levels with the challenges HIV and AIDS has brought to our lives – inclusive of yours and mine.  I am not fighting something or someone – I am walking alongside, facing hopeful outcomes.

We were asked to respond to a few bullet points – and I will try my best to capture some thoughts that could lead to discussion, but also to celebration.  (perhaps we are sometimes fighting so much that we do not have time to celebrate!) I will sometimes respond from our church perspective, and sometimes from the “NGO/FBO” perspective the that I represent.

·         The faith base of our involvement in HIV/AIDS (prevention, treatment, care, etc)

Firstly: No church can effectively respond to HIV and AIDS if not coming from its roots, the core, the heart of their faith. Who is the church?  It is made up of people like you and me.  Yes, there are formal meetings and declarations and initiatives – but in the end it is how individuals respond from their position and understanding of God – who he/she is – and who we are.  The key values of the Dutch Reformed Church have been moulded during the past 6 years through deep thought and a process of “listening” to God and to one another.  These values guide our response to HIV and AIDS: Compassion, Teachability, Openness and Trust. In addition to this, a culture of “embracing” the value and dignity of every human being is growing.  This goes beyond the formal declaration of intent of the DRCs involvement in HIV and AIDS - published in 1998, which renewed in 2005.  Who we are – our values, encourage and drive our congregations to reach out with love, compassion, to provide trust worthy information and learn as we walk the road with our brothers and sisters who know the pain or know the way forward. We do not only challenging HIV directly, but also the contexts which drive and fuel the pandemic – especially poverty, family relationships, gender imbalances and abuse.  What glows in your heart will flow in your deeds!  We do not preach involvement – our faith base leads us to practical acts of love and compassion.  One of the core programmes we implement is based on 9 guiding principles from the Bible.

We do not preach involvement – our faith base leads us to practical acts of love and compassion.  BUT – unfortunately some faith leaders interpret their sacred texts wrongly, or use it irresponsibly – leading to stigma, discrimination, and yet – sometimes to more infections!  I will come back to these statements later.

·         The extent of our current work in the HIV/AIDS field

The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa:

It is impossible to give you a rundown of the work of the 1,100 congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa – and even more challenging to mention the work of “Faith Inspired” projects managed by the Church focusing on prevention, care, treatment and advocacy. Let me mention a few outreach programmes that focus on some of the most vulnerable groups regarding HIV -
·         Engagement with street children and children vulnerable because of HIV – some orphaned
·         Empowerment of women – to create income, but also to foster healthy family relationships
·         Practical support through distribution of food, and arranging transport to clinics
·         Addressing alcoholism and substance abuse which leads to wrong decisions in sexual behaviour
·         Income generating projects

But let me give you more details of one or two projects inspired by our Christian faith.

(1)   The CLF (Christian Literature Fund):  This organizations produces literature – easy for reading and understanding – especially for people with a low literacy level.  They also distribute such materials developed by other organizations, such as the “Called to Care” series of Strategies for Hope – a set of 10 books which guides congregations towards a Christian Response to HIV and AIDS.

(2)   In 2001 – 10 years ago – it was the Dutch Reformed Church which gave the first seed money to start an organization that is now know worldwide – the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa! This is no longer a “DRC” project – it has grown to be a NGO/FBO of note! I want to highlight one tool which was developed by CABSA, which is now being used by many churches in South Africa, as well as global organizations such as World Vision International and AIDSlink.


CABSA guides and supports churches/congregations in a holistic an comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS.  It’s four focus areas are:
·         Advocacy and Sensitizing
·         Training and mentoring of Channels of Hope facilitators
·         Knowledge and information sharing  (CARIS)
·         Networking and cooperation

But I want to mention a tool developed but them – a transformation tool!  “Churches, Channels of Hope”!  They train facilitators to guide congregations in a holistic and comprehensive response to HI and AIDS – ant this is being used internationally by organizations such as World Vision, AIDSlink and many churches in South Africa.

World Vision:

World Vision’s HIV work centres around prevention, care and advocacy.  But I want to focus on our use of “Channels of Hope”.  Since 2004 we have trained more than 3,000 Channels of Hope facilitators, who facilitate capacity building events and processes.  In Africa alone more than 46,000 volunteers have been empowered through Channels of Hope to reach out through home visits to orphaned households, to provide home based care and to run prevention initiatives. One of the most evident impacts of Channels of Hope was documented during a three year operations research done in Uganda and Zambia. Through the implementation of Channels of Hope there was a significant reduction in the levels of HIV related stigma in the communities. (Slide on punishment from God).

But this is not the only HIV response of World Vision. We have a strong outreach to orphans and vulnerable children (during the past 10 years in Africa alone we managed to facilitate the formation of 4222 community-led initiatives caring for 1.2 million OVC.

Our latest involvement is “cPMTCT” – “Commnity” PMTCT. Complementing the clinical approach of PMTCT – which includes a strong focus on pongs 1, 2 and 4 – with emphasis on community supporting action e.g. mobilizing faith communities, emphasis on male involvement, support for ARV adherence, continued care for pregnant mothers, strengthened community support for exclusive breastfeeding etc! Together we can turn the tide – and embrace the slogan of this year’s WAD: Zero new infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS related deaths!

·         The recognition (or lack thereof) of their work in the HIV/AIDS field by governments, non-FBOs, etc

A typical South African cry would be “eich!”… We know that various UN agencies, such as UNAIDS and UNFPA has officially recognized the role of FBOs in a comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS.

I want to make a statement that faith communities remain the single most important partner in the quest for community development.  And this has been recognised also lately but UN agencies:

UNAIDS: Advocating for “structured and ongoing relationships” with faith-based communities “to ensure delivery on commitments to universal access within the context of the AIDS response” – UNAIDS Partnership with Faith-based Communities: UNAIDS Strategic Framework, 2009.

UNFPA: Advocating for “systematic and deliberate engagement of the like‐minded partners among them (faith communities)”  - UNFPA Guidelines for Engaging Faith Based Organizations as Agents of Change, 2009.

But it still feels as though FBOs are marginalized and not recognized fully – especially when it comes to funding for faith-based or faith inspired initiatives. We know that funding for HIV is globally dwindling – which is so sad! – we cannot stop now!  We are turning the tide!  What would it help if all the clinical work is done professionally with wonderful results – but the stigma in our communities still prevent people from being tested – or the medication is not accessible and faith communities are not empowered to form the supporting initiatives.  More than one FBO (or FIO) in South Africa are facing closure!  The one cannot be done without the other!  We want to thank many non-FBOs which have recognized the role of FBOs, but perhaps this should be more prominent in our Southern African society.

·         The aspect(s) of their work and approaches to HIV/AIDS that may be deemed controversial and how they mitigate against negative criticism

I do not think any of our work or approaches to HIV are deemed controversial for non FBO people – BUT some of our approaches are deemed controversial for our own brothers and sisters!  Sadly, for many years people thought that FBOs will only be able to talk about “A” and “B” of the ABC prevention approach.  This is very sad – especially because ABC is such a limited prevention strategy!  As CABSA, World Vision, and many congregations in our church – now embrace the acronym developed by INERELA+ : SAVE!  So, within our own “FBO” constituencies we have been blamed to encourage prostitution and irresponsible sexual behaviour by talking openly about the value of condoms, of circumcision and safe needle supply.

How we mitigate against this?  Well, we are actually only living out our core values!  Compassion, Truth, Openness and Teachability!  In the Channels of Hope programme which I mentioned, we assist faith communities – faith leaders – to grapple with the realities of HIV infection as a health issue, instead of making it a moral issue.  Each church/denomination/individual needs a safe space to openly ask questions of faith while discovering the scientific facts.  I have so many stories of pastors, priests, imams, sheiks that expressed an eagerness to engage in HIV from a new understanding of the realities.

·         The future role of FBOs in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic

I think the future role of FBOs will not be much different from the past, but I want to highlight just 5 important roles:
(1)   Strengthening their advocacy voice to address policies and practice
(2)   Encourage stronger male involvement and appropriate (Biblical) understanding of gender roles
(3)   Open doors to - and provide accessible, comprehensive knowledge
(4)   Continue to break stigma and negative attitudes – while addressing harmful cultural practices
(5)   Be good “stewards” – of the resources – especially with less funding available

Perhaps a bit more emphasis on their role to reach Zero infections by 2015

I want to end with a quote:
“Go to the people.  Live with them.  Learn from them.  Love them.  Start with what they know.  Build with what they love.  With the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves!”      Lao Tsu, 700 BC















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Minie@ Community Implementers Forum. 24/11/2011

1. Keynote address:

1.       Dutch policy in the field of development cooperation – Deputy head of mission Mr Wouter Jurgens Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands

·         They have been active in SA since 1994

·         Dutch involvement in HIV in SA is ending this year and will now focus on poor countries or those in transition in southern Africa, particularly targeting the trucking routes, prostitution and HIV on a regional basis. SA no longer falls within the criteria of countries they support.

2.      2.  State of HIV & AIDS Service delivery in the City of Tshwane municipality 2011 – John Matjila, University of Pretoria

·         Summary of findings – 5th edition of Tshwane report on HIV services



June 2011


11.9 mil tested – 79% of target (Zuma call for HCT) 21,000 1st year students tested


1.4 mil on treatment – 150% increase


4.2 mil screened for TB; 65,209 0n treatment – 277% increase


2000 nurses certified vs 250; 2,205 sites certified vs 490

December 2010


17,000 performed

Condom distribution

403.8 mil male condoms distributed; 4.4 mil female condoms distributed

 3.       Report on HIV services released since 2007


Service providers in Tshwane

Most are in highly populated areas


NGO’s have been more in number than private, public and PBO’s. NGO’s are the major contributors and still increasing

Staffing in organisations (to see if there will be stability and if it will last

NGO’s (major contributor)

58.8% are fulltime staff; 36.6% are volunteers.

Public & FBO sector also active



93% volunteers; 5.3% full time staff

 4.       General summary of findings in the report

·         A number of services have stabilized

·         Condom distribution decreased and stabilized

·         Drug use and violence against women is on the increase and a growing concern. This is country wide as well. Rape, HCBC (Home Community-based Care), Income generating projects are also on the increase

·         HIV advocacy and nutritional support are on the decrease

·         NGO’s are the main contributor in support services as well as in prevention

·         Public sector main contributor in treatment related services

·         IPT, DOTS + Cotrimoxazole providers lower than number of TB screening providers

 5.       Way forward

·         Integrate TB and HIV services due to the relationship between the two

·         Ensure wider access to HCT and ART especially for children

·         Increase number of OVC services + support to NGO’S with OVC programs (there is 43.3% coverage)

·         Increase the ability of sectors to leverage and support each other through TMAC

·         Continue to provide municipal specific information for Monitoring and Evaluation purposes.

 6.       Challenges

·         Drug abuse, women and child abuse. These are serious problems that will hinder efforts being made to curb TB and HIV infections

·         It is also difficult to control HIV infection if Gender Based Violence is on the increase 

 7.       TB and HIV co infection – Alice Mokone, Sediba Hope Pretoria

·         Gave general presentation on the process their organisation uses to screen and assist TB patients as well as tips on good hygiene.

FPD has a Calculator on its site under tools which provides statistics and details of service providers. It also calculates the need for ART etc. A very good site to use which also includes score cards


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Aneleh @ Gesamentlike Vigstaakgroep Vergadering, Wes en Suidkaap Sinodes van die NG Kerkfamilie; 27/10/2011

Om te leef as MIV-geaffekteerde gemeentes
Terugvoer van groter Vigstaakgroep vergadering
Die Bediening vir Armoede en Sorg se Vigstaakgroep het op 27 Oktober 2011 ‘n groter Vigstaakgroep vergadering by die Marturia Sentrum, Pastoriestraat, Bellville gehou. Alle ringe was genooi om verteenwoordigers na die vergadering te stuur om saam te dink en besin oor die rol van die Vigstaakgroep en die onderwerp van MIV bevoegde gemeentes en kerke.

Die grootste deurbraak van hierdie vergadering was rondom die formulering van die doel van die Vigstaakgroep. Dit het vir ons duidelik geword dat die uitdaging nie ten eerste lê by WAT gemeentes en ringe DOEN met betrekking tot MIV en Vigs nie, maar dat dit noodsaaklik is om te fokus op WIE ons IS en HOE ons as kerk onsself met die kwessie van MIV identifiseer.  Dit is dus nodig om te help vorm aan ‘n kultuur van geaffekteerdheid eerder as nog en nog aktiwiteite.

In hierdie verband is daar ook ‘n paar keer daarna verwys dat die Vigstaakgroep die gewete van die kerk is – en veral die funksie het om die kerk te herinner, bly herinner aan MIV en Vigs en help om ‘n klimaat te skep waarin MIV en Vigs ook ‘n prioriteit is.

Met aanvang van die vergadering het almal teenwoordig ‘n geleentheid gekry om hulself aan die vergadering voor te stel en ook om hulle persepsies oor die taakgroep te deel. Uit hierdie terugvoer was dit duidelik dat ten spyte van die toewyding en entoesiasme van die taakgroep, min werklik kennis dra van die bestaan en of funksie van die taakgroep.

Individue het ook die geleentheid gebruik om hulle frustrasie uit te spreek spesifiek rondom hoe moeilik dit is om toegang tot of betrokkenheid spesifiek vanuit sekere NG kerke te kry. Daar is onder andere gesê dat die NG Kerk MIV nie as HUL probleem sien nie en dus baie ontoeganklik is.

Op die vraag hoekom dit nodig is vir die Kerk om op MIV en Vigs te reageer, is daar as volg reageer
    Dit is vir baie mense die melaatsheid van ons tyd
    Is deel van ons geroepenheid om om te gee
    Is deel van ons gebroke werklikheid
    Dit is deel van mense se nood
    Dit is ons opdrag – nie net tov my eie gemeente en kerk nie, maar wyer
    Gehoorsaamheid aan skrifopdrag
    ONS HET NIE “N KEUSE NIE – word daartoe gedwing (gedring?)
    Kerk het bepaalde invloed as agent vir verandering
    Kerk preek en praat lewe

Hier is dit ook beklemtoon dat die verwagting nie is dat die Kerk alles anders moet los en uitsluitlik op MIV moet fokus nie, maar juis dat ons as Kerk moet besef dat ook MIV belangrik is en ons nie regtig ‘n keuse het of ons op hierdie onderwerp en die pyn en stigma wat daarmee gepaard gaan, wil fokus nie.  Ons het wel nodig om te leer hoe om die kwessie van MIV binne die bestaande bedienings en projekte van ons kerk te integreer, eerder as om dit as nog ‘n addisionele verantwoordelikheid te sien. Sodoende kan die onderwerp al meer genormaliseer word, ook binne eredienste. Dit hang daarmee saam om begrip te ontwikkel rondom wat dit beteken om ‘n MIV bevoegde gemeente te wees.

Vêrder is daar stil gestaan by die vraag wat dit moeilik maak vir kerke om ook op MIV te fokus?
Dit is beklemtoon dat dit hier ten nouste saamhang met wat ons verstaan die “core business” van die kerk is. Die “core business” van die kerk is nie MIV en Vigs nie. Die core business van die kerk is God – en in hoe en watter mate die kerk mense kan begelei en ondersteun om nader aan God en mekaar te groei. 

Die terugvoer was:
    Want ons dink dis ‘n opsie?
    Kerkleiers is toegegooi met verskeie sake – waarvan almal dink hulle saak is die belangrikste en behoort die volle aandag van predikante te geniet.
    Seks is nie sonde nie – maar daar is baie vrae rondom moraliteit – en die seksuele oordrag van MIV maak dit moeilik om eerlik en gemaklik met die onderwerp om te gaan.
    Vooroordele en stigma
    Dat ons onderskeid maak tussen verskillende sondes
    Onkunde oor sonde
    Onkunde oor die realiteite van MIV
    Vrees vir pandemie, vrees vir aansteek, vrees vir stigma
    Kommunikasie been en kanale (dit is moeilik om boodskap by die regte persoon te kry)  Hier bied Jacky Swart aan dat sy ‘n belangrike rol daarin kan speel om die boodskap by die regte persone uit te kry.
    Blootstelling is minder (in wit kerke?)
    Ons leef al minder in ‘community’ (veral wit kerke waar mense al meer in isolasie, baie individuele lewens lei?)
    MIV beklemtoon soveel ander “probleme” en uitdagings (plaas vergrootglas oor vraagstukke soos armoede, posisie van vrou, werkloosheid, uitsigloosheid van jeug, tienerswangerskappe, drank misbruik, dwelms, gesinsgeweld, geslagsrolle ens.)

Dit word beklemtoon dat die Vigstaakgroep nodig het om bg. uitdagings te verstaan en in ag te neem wanneer ons oor ons taak en verantwoordelikheid besin. Om bloot net kritiek uit te spreek, gaan nie verhoudings bevorder of die uitdagings oorkom nie.

Die taakgroep definieer ons doel: Om ‘n kultuur van broosheid binne die kerk te vestig waar gemeentes ‘n veilige tuiste vir almal sal wees.
Hierdie kultuur van broosheid hang ten nouste daarmee saam dat ons as kerk nodig het om nie maar net by MIV betrokke te raak of iets te doen nie, maar ten eerste dat ons as kerk sal leef as ‘n geaffekteer gemeente en ons sodoende ten volle met MIV en Vigs identifiseer.

Kultuur hang saam met bedieningspraktyke en bewustheid, maar die vertrekpunt is om ons met die saak te identifiseer.
Die primêre taak van die taakspan is dus om hierdie kultuur te help vestig dat ons regtig geaffekteer is (leef as geaffekteerdes). Leef in die oortuiging: Ek is geaffekteer. Ons is geaffekteer.

En hier praat ons nie daarvan dat ek geaffekteer is omdat my familielid of kollega MIV positief is en daarom ‘n direkte of indirekte invloed op my het nie. Maar ek leef as geaffekteerde, omdat ek myself vereenselwig met die liggaam van Christus wat MIV positief is en Vigs het (en hiermee sou ons kon byvoeg, gemarginaliseerd is, arm is, uitgebuit word)
Die fokus van hierdie komitee lê egter by MIV en Vigs, maar ons gerigtheid lê nie in isolasie van die ander realiteite waarmee ons as liggaam van Christus leef nie. Ons wil dus ‘n kultuur skep (help skep) van identifiseer met mense in nood en wat verby hulle en ons grense strek

Die Vigstaakgroep sien ons rol as agente om die kultuur te verander en sal in die volgende vergadering ons beplanning doen vir hoe ons hierdie taak in 2012 sal aanpak.

Aktiwiteite wat in verlede al deur taakgroep aangepak is:
    Besoeke aan ringe en sinodes
    Ontwikkel van preekriglyne rondom Wêreld Vigsdag en AIDS Memorial Day
    Ontwikkeling van twee pamflette
    Ontwerp en verspreiding van plakkate vir Wêreld Vigsdag
    Groter Vigstaakgroep byeenkomste
    Toetsing gereël vir VG kerk sinode.

‘n Oorsigtelike gesprek volg wat fokus op MIV bevoegdheid.

Twee bronne (Beacons of Hope deur Dr. Sue Perry van EHAIA en Towards an HIV AND AIDS COMPETENT CHURCH gepubliseer deur CUAHA en Tumaini Universiteit) word onder die aandag van vergadering gebring.
Taakgroep lede het reeds ‘n harde of sagte kopie van Beacons of Hope – en enigiemand kan hierdie boek elektronies aflaai deur CABSA se webtuiste.

Die “Competence barrel” soos aangepas en ontwikkel deur CABSA is ook bekendgestel en verduidelik.

In kort kan ons sê dat MIV bevoegdheid nie maar net daaroor gaan om “iets te doen nie”, maar dat ‘n mens op ‘n verantwoordelike manier met die onderwerp omgaan en regtig omvattend na die onderwerp van MIV en Vigs kyk. Terselfdertyd staan MIV en Vigs nie in isolasie van wie die kerk is en waarmee die kerk reeds besig is nie – en daarom is dit belangrik om MIV te leer sien en integreer in bestaande bedieninge en projekte van die kerk.  In plaas daarvan om MIV uit te lig en uit te sonder, wil ‘n mens dit eerder normaliseer en deel maak van wie en wat die kerk reeds is. En hier gaan dit ten eerste dus om die ingesteldheid van die kerk, of dan die heersende kultuur wat uiteindelik sal bepaal op watter manier (en of ) ‘n kerk by MIV en Vigs betrokke sal raak en as deel van haar realiteit sal herken.

Die Vigstaakgroep se volgende vergadering is geskeduleer vir Donderdag 10 November 2011.  Vir meer besonderhede oor die aktiwiteite van die taakgroep, kontak gerus Ds. William Ficks by of 084 5140 363.

Verslag opgestel deur Aneleh Fourie-Le Roux van CABSA – die Christen Vigsburo vir Suider-Afrika,

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Lyn @Church Dialogue on Human Rights. 11/10/2011

Lyn participated in this exciting dialogue organised by Sonke Gender Justice Network, POWA and the SACC.

The theme was "The Role of Religious Institutions in curbing Sexual Violence".  Lyn's presentation focussed on the role faith communities can play in addressing female sexual health.

One of the reasons for this dialogue was a programme on a South African pay TV channel , where there are apparently many examples of abuse of women particularly.  If you know of any similar examples, please let CABSA know ( We will coordinate a campaign to try and stop abuse of this kind.

Included below is Lyn's presentation and a report on the dialogues from the SANAC men's sector


Opening prayer: Rev. Monwabisi Mcophela

Setting the Scene and Purpose of the dialogue: Rev. Desmond Lesejane


•POWA Director: Nhlanhla Mokwena – The psychosocial effects of sexual violence and discrimination.
•NPA: Adv. Vuyokazi Mhlanga- Ketelo – Violence against women and children: The Sexual Offences Act and reporting obligations.
•CABSA: Lyn Van Rooyen – Understanding Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health.
•South Africa Council of Churches: Rev Gift Moerane - Role of the church in combating GBV.

Questions, Plenary discussions and way-forward

Closing prayer 

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Lyn @ “Prospects for The Demographic Dividend in South Africa”. 11-12 July 2011

Lyn was invited to attend the national World Population Day commemoration hosted by by the Department of Social Development and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 11 – 12 July 2011. 

World Population Day (WPD) is an annual event, commemorated on 11 July. The aim is to raise awareness on the importance of population and socio-economic development.  WPD was first highlighted when the world reached five billion in 1987 and in 1999 the world passed the six billion mark.  This year, the world population is projected to reach 7 billion on 31 October.  Current world population projections point to the importance of creating opportunities for young people, who constitute the majority in many African countries, including South Africa.  

The focus of this year’s event was on young people, because when young people can exercise their right to health and education, and have access to descent work, they can contribute significantly to improve the capacities of their countries to escape poverty.

During the seminar, government leaders, researchers and senior officials presented papers that reflect on different aspects of the state of our country’s youth, and prospects for their development. 

On the second day of the seminar, participants engaged in group discussions on how to collaborate in a “youth population strategy”, which will support the government’s objectives on the sexual & reproductive health & rights and health of young people, their employment and education & training.

Key points from the presentations

Youth is now the largest part of the SA population This provides economic & other growth opportunity if key conditions are in place.

Schreiner, UNFPA:

-        Projected Global population 7 billion by end October. Start of advocacy campaign to highlight challenges and opportunities.
-        Essential that young people have opportunities, skills, choices, health-, education-, economic opportunities to utilise the dividend.

Deputy Minister of Social Development Ntuli:

-        Population pressure has particular effect on Africa.
-        Africa has been poor for too long - let us work hard and move on!

Min Soc Dev Bathabile Dlamini: The Minister’s speech is available on the DSD website 

-        The work of academics come from communities & ultimately are for communities.
-        Communities need to understand why population issues and planning are important.
-        SA now has more than 50 million people.
-        Fertility declining. Still pockets of poor access to reproductive health services and information and pockets of high youth pregnancy.
-        40% of South African population are youth. This provides a once off demographic window of opportunity.
-        10% of teenagers experience pregnancy, 30% of SA rape victims are youth, high HIV rates, high risk behaviour, high incidence of drugs, high exposure to violence.
-        Accurate sensus 2011 data essential for planning & targeted response, especially also for youth.

Dr Zacarius, UN:

-        Power of working together through social networks for change.
-        Youth face many challenges
-        Challenges facing youth: teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment, substance abuse, HIV.

Dr Altman, National Planning Commission: Achieving a demographic dividend?

-        The Demographic dividend is the opportunity that exists when there is a large economic population supporting relatively small dependant population.
-        SA has large youth proportion (Youth bulge) but most are economically inactive and thus dependant rather than adding to growth
-        National Planning Commission want youth involved & need ideas: will come as speakers, facebook, twitter, website 
-        Wild cards:
o   Inward migration from region;
o   1/3 women 18-30 HIV+;
o   access to services enabling social mobility;
o   general rate of economic growth
-        Education: Virtually universal enrolment to grade 9, but capabilities not in line with needs of economy or for post school learning.
-        Social mobilisation will be key but the context is one of diminishing social cohesion & alignment. Need leverage points eg mobile technology

Dr Makiwane HSRC - Demographics of Youth.

-        Two extremes - group who leave household early, and group who stays with parents for long time
-        2.9% of teenagers are the head of their household, rises dramatically in age group 20-24.
-        Vast majority of Indigent households (no regular household income) are youth - too old for grant, no job opportunity.

National Youth Development Agency on Youth, jobs & skills.

-        Quoting O R Tambo: "A nation who does not look after its youth has no future & does not deserve one".
-        Need second opportunities to make sure youth leaving school unprepared for job market have further opportunities for development.
-        All these plans will not be able to stop the "slide" if we do not fix our primary education system.
Always entertaining & informative Dr Eddie Mhlanga on sexual & reproductive health needs of adolescents
-        needs not addressed
-        Condoms are not made for young people, poor early experience might discourage safe sex for future.
-        Poor parental guidance;
o   Need to deal with issues: gender identity, physical deviations from norm; affirm & acceptance individuals
-         We need to deal with education issues NOW or we miss the opportunity. 'Real' nutrition also crucial for reproductive health
-         Risks of youth pregnancy:
o   Increase in premature births,
o   Increase in difficult births,
o   Increase in brain damage of babies,
o   Increase in hypertension & other complications of pregnancy,
o   Increase in miscarriage;
o   Lowered education
-        Barriers to SRH:
o   Limited knowledge - medical & social;
o   Social disintegration, attitudes;
o   Poverty - material, mind & spirit

Ms Dululu Hlatshaneni - Pregnancy in schools. Response of department of basic education

-         Multi-sectorial and interdepartmental challenge,
-        especially in primary education, abstinence is the first priority,
-        Learners suggested that longer school hours and more extracurricular activities are necessary to prevent teen pregnancy.
-        Watch out for poor school performance, regular absence from school & history of child abuse as risk factors for teen pregnancy
-         Reintegrate learners into schools after pregnancy or other drop out - second chance and catch up programmes.
-        Need support for pregnant learners, including parenting classes and health care, and for young mothers who return to school.

Makiwane: Is health of youth improving?

-        Increase in alcohol and tobacco use;
-        Sexual initiation under age of 15yrs increasing in female youth.
-        Young females:
o   more cross generational sex;
o   teenage child bearing declining;
o   increased induced abortion;
o   HIV prevalence stabilising
-         Young men:
o   Sexual initiation not delayed,
o   Condom use increasing but not consistent,
o   More young men reporting multiple partners.

Dr Charles Sheppard: Trends in Educational Attainment.

-        99% or appropriate age children are in school at ages Gr1 - 7.
-        Close to gender parity in primary and secondary schooling.
-        In tertiary education females dominate and are doing much better.
-        massive loss of children after grade 9.
-        Dramatic reduction in local and international measures of educational performance.
-        2.5mil people between 18-24 not working and not studying, although many of them qualify for some type of tertiary education.

Potgieter-Gqubule: Social and labour market exclusion and inclusion:

-        Youth are often seen as trouble: IN trouble or SOURCE of trouble.
-        Youth research (Everatt & Orkin) in 1993 on 12 dimensions: 25% fine, 26% marginalised, 44% at risk, 5% lost. Where are we now?
-        Youth Labour Market viewed as distinct sector in labour market. Two thirds of the SA labour force is under 35. High percentage of discouragement in youth unemployed.

Neloufar Khan:

-        Trend towards non-marriage, earlier sexual initiation, more births outside recognised family patterns, change in family patterns
-        We are reproducing a culture of violence in places where children should be safest - home & school.

Oliver Zambuko: Reporting on large study by Dept Population & Development on Factors associated with teenage pregnancy in SA.

-        Teenage pregnancy largely amongst black & coloured learners,
-        more likely with girls performing poorly at school,
-        linked with low self esteem
-        Girls often drop out and then fall pregnant - drop out precedes pregnancy. Keep girls in school!
-        Problem of teenage pregnancy acerbated by:
o   lack of partner support,
o   lack of family support,
o   cross generational sex,
o   poor knowledge of reproductive functions,
o   poor access to care
-        Access to care limited by
o   societal values & norms;
o   judgemental approach of health care,
o   stigma,
o   distance,
o   disruption of service & stocks

A selection of the papers presented are available here

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Lyn, Ashley and Jerry @5th SA AIDS Conference. 7-10/6/2011

Microsoft Office document icon SAAIDS 2011 Report.doc66 KB

Lyn, Jerry and Ashleigh attended the 5th SA AIDS Conference where CABSA coordinated the interfaith exhibition. This meant a large amount of materials had to be packed and Lyn's car groaned under the weight!!



The energy started building with drummers at the door, and a amazing community choir

Participants was surprised by a flashmob during the opening ceremony:


Lyn took part in a panel on the religious response to the epidemic. You can read the archbishops introduction below.

Lyn also acted as community rapporteur for the Community Implementers’ guide and Tweeted very actively from the conference. You can download her report of highlights of the session she attended.

People communicate in many ways!

Like always it is good to realise that you and your organisation are part of something much bigger.  Jerry is concentrating on a session - together with a few thousand other participants!

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Address of the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba at 5th South African HIV and AIDS Conference

This address was given on 8 June 2011 at the 5th South African HIV and AIDS Conference in Durban.


Our title for this session is ‘Is the Religious Sector’s Response to the HIV Epidemic Sufficient?’ I shall answer by speaking about the role of faith communities as a necessary and effective partner, not only in tackling HIV and AIDS, but also TB, and across society’s health needs. I will speak as an Anglican, with my colleagues from the Anglican AIDS and Health-care Trust supporting this with practical examples from their work and experience on the ground. Colleagues will offer Catholic, Methodist and Muslim perspectives, from their long experience of working with the poor and most vulnerable. In this way, what may seem a theoretical call from my paper will be ‘earthed’ by the panellists.

Care and compassion towards the sick and the suffering has been the touchstone of most faiths since earliest times. Historically, the emergence of hospitals was strongly influenced by the care provided by Christian Churches, over many centuries. Today close to half of all health services in sub-Saharan Africa are provided by the religious sector.

But this is only part our commitment to holistic human well-being. Christians speak of humanity being created to live in harmony with God, loving him with heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love our neighbours as ourselves. In other words, we, like our God, are concerned for emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being of both individuals and communities. Therefore our contribution should be as much about promoting good health and disease prevention, as about responding to ill-health and its wider consequences in our communities.

This care and compassion, in practical terms, means an urgent and vocal commitment on our part to intensifying all our efforts that seek to ensure access for all God’s people, especially the poor and vulnerable, to adequate prevention, care, treatment and support. We cannot do this alone; we must continue working in communities, with those most affected, discriminated, with stigma and are silenced.

Community Engagement and Primary Health Care

It is at community level where the religious sector can perhaps make the greatest difference. Our pervasive grass roots presence allows us to work ‘bottom up’, vitally complementing the ‘top down’ approach that is inevitably part of the national and provincial responsibilities of Governments and Health Departments. And we certainly need to make a difference at the grass roots, if we are to make headway in health promotion and disease prevention as well as caring for the sick. We can do so through continuing our education programmes which help to break stigma, silence and death; and give a voice to people living with HIV. Within general health promotion, we give a particular priority to ensuring access to prevention measures, treatment, and a broad range of care and support to mothers, children and all living with HIV and TB. These are chief amongst the health challenges that we are facing at this time.

I am delighted that we share so much of this vision with our current Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. Last year he launched what he calls ‘a massive primary healthcare campaign’, which is as much about teaching healthy living as it is about caring for the sick. With Dr Motsoaledi, I was privileged to co-chair a national conference on religion and public health last October, which was sponsored by the National Religious Association for Social Development. Out of this, and our continued involvement with the South African National AIDS Council, we are developing various partnerships between government and faith communities. We hope soon to sign a Memorandum with the Department of Health.

My own church has also worked with other governments, including those of the US, UK and Canada, in running community-based programmes. Through the NRSAD we are also in partnership with the Global Fund.

In all of these, education and capacity building around good practices in disease prevention and treatment is a key objective. For though poverty exacerbates health problems in many ways, one of the most insidious is the lack of basic education. This is the most significant reason
• why HIV still spreads at unacceptable levels
• why TB, entirely treatable, remains so prevalent
• why people don’t stick with their courses of medicine
• why people are so passive, defeatist, in the face of illness, often only going to clinics when they are seriously unwell
• why so many of us follow life-style practices that increase the risk of us developing serious, even life-threatening, conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – when so many of these are largely unavoidable.

The great saga around toilets in our recent local elections illustrates the vast task that the country faces in providing adequate clean water and sanitation facilities for our population. This is one area – among others, of course – where the religious sector is pressing the government to do better. But good hygiene habits also have a vital role to play in cutting the close to 100 deaths a day of South African children to diarrhoeal diseases.

It is a truism that ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Teaching people how to live well has always been at the heart of religious activity. So we must ensure that we train religious leaders explicitly to promote good health education – directly and through their congregations – within their local communities, as part of this call to abundant life of heart, soul, mind and body. Jesus said his followers were to be like salt in the world – a tiny amount can make the difference between a tasteless meal and something wholly delicious! We must do the same.

Informing Minds, Transforming Behaviour

Such teaching is not just to inform minds – it must also transform behaviour. Studies regularly show that in South Africa we have very high levels of awareness about HIV and TB – but this has been slow to change sexual and social behaviour. In Uganda, the most significant prevention measures came through person to person communication at grass roots level, in which religious networks played a key role. We must mobilise our people to persist in doing the same – and indeed, within the Anglican church we are particularly aiming to do this, for example, through the Siyafundisa (‘Teaching our Children’) Peer Education and Life Skills Education programmes, funded by PEPFAR. Recent studies are finally beginning to show, thank God, a reduction in infection rates among young people.

Of course, it must be admitted that churches and other faith communities have not always played a positive role in relation to education on HIV and AIDS. Let’s face it, the religious sector has found it hard to talk more constructively around issues of sex, which is so often something of a taboo subject. For too long we fuelled stigma, and with it ignorance and denial, all of which contributed to the disease’s spread. But as we learn to speak more openly, honestly, and constructively, about these diseases and the factors around them, so we can help society as a whole to deal with them in this way.

I think, for example, of a man who, after wrestling with his status, admitted openly that he was HIV +ve, even though he was a monk, and supposed to be celibate. By acknowledging publicly that he was ‘only human’, he discovered that he was able to come alongside people, and genuinely engage with them in a way he never could if they had not been able to identify with him in the way they now did. There are many other good news stories of where changing church attitudes have helped change community attitudes. I leave it to my colleagues to give practical examples from their work on the ground.

These examples, will, I hope, demonstrate that making a transition from being part of the problem to being part of the solution has required first of all a commitment to ensuring our faith leaders are well-educated in the facts and appropriate attitudes. We must continue to also tackle patriarchal distortions in our own teachings that too often collude in the abuse of women and children, which is also such a damaging part of community health and well-being.

People on the Ground

The presence of churches and other faiths in every community can help in the battle for good health in other ways. We can support Government by offering places where community-based health officers and nurse-practitioners can provide essential primary care at village level; or hold mobile clinics; or connect patients with mobile phone-based ‘telemedicine’. A consensus is emerging that these are cheap and effective ways of significantly boosting health care.

All these are over and above the care networks and programmes that so many of us already run to support those infected and affected by HIV, AIDS, TB and other illnesses. Let me mention the Anglican Vana Vetu (‘Caring for our Children’) Programme, funded by DFID and PEPFAR, which aims to ensure that orphaned and vulnerable children receive appropriate care and support to grow to their full potential. It provides counselling, education, care and support to communities and also trains people to respond to their needs.

Caring for Souls

But, as I draw to a close, let me say something about the religious sector’s unique and necessary contribution. For we are far, far, more than just another social development organisation that can assist governments in their uphill task of promoting good health. Medicine can treat the body, but physical well-being is intimately linked to spiritual and emotional health.

All of us are mortal – yet death is increasingly one of society’s last taboos. Too often we behave as if it were an unsubstantiated rumour – until, of course, it faces us. Then people need our support, our care, our clear proclamation of the love of God that encompasses both this world and the next. One task of faith communities is to help everyone to live with honesty, and face death without terror or despair – setting people free to make the most of their lives in generous loving relationships with those around them.

An ancient prayer asks God to grant us a ‘good death’. I have to say that where people have dared to face their dying, by putting their hand in the hand of God, trusting him and finding his gift of peace, that they are amongst the most healed people – healed emotionally and spiritually – that I have ever met.

It is not only the sick, the dying, and their nearest and dearest for whom we care, and for whom we pray. We can also provide health professionals with spiritual and emotional support. Sometimes, in their stressed and demanding lives, it can make the world of difference to receive a ‘good listening to’ when they need it; to know they are valued; to know that they too are upheld in our prayers and those of our communities.

This week we mourn the passing of Ma Sisulu – who, among her many gifts and achievements was a dedicated nurse. We need to value nurses as we did when she trained – and resource them to make the difference that she and her generation contributed to our country.

So may God bless our discussions here; and bless us in the lessons we take home and share with our own communities. For most of all, we pray that he will make us communities of blessing to those around – especially those in greatest need. Amen

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Churches Channels Of Hope As Capacity Building Tool In Faith Communities

Lyn's Comment: My presentation was curtailed due to time pressure, and I promised to add it to the website.


Capacity building programs often include large amounts of information, skills or techniques, but when there is no fundamental change in mindset, attitude and worldview, lasting change seldom follows.

CABSA addresses this challenge through the Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) programme, through which facilitators are trained to present workshops and guide faith communities towards HIV competence.  CCoH simultaneously addresses attitudes, knowledge, and the spiritual response to HIV in a process which (through the work of the Holy Spirit) leads to transformation on the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual level.

CABSA does not view capacity building as merely building external or technical skills and knowledge of HIV or facilitation. Through the Churches Channels of Hope programme CABSA also builds the skills and provides the opportunity for in dept reflection; openness to be challenged and confronted and the willingness to rethink difficult issues.

We believe that if the heart of the church does not change, intellectual and technical skills alone will not create sufficient impact.  If individuals are not transformed, they will not have the capacity to transform faith communities.

CCoH provides the opportunity for faith leaders (at many different levels) to embark on a journey where they:
-    learn sound, current, scientific HIV information, on a foundation of Scripture and in the Christian context;
-    are challenge to think beyond the obvious and superficial;
-    are empowered with facilitation skills through a highly interactive adult learning process;
-    learn to assist faith communities towards HIV competence;
-    are offered ongoing mentoring and support at the end of the training.

Ideally, individuals in the process should have the support of their organisation and leaders – this ensures that greater capacity is built in the church or organisation, and eventually has a greater impact in society.

However, even in the absence of this support, Churches Channels of Hope is much more than ‘just another capacity building programme”.  It is a challenge to an alternative lifestyle, a lifestyle that leads to the realisation of CABSA’s vision: ‘caring Christian communities ministering reconciliation and hope in a world with HIV.”

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Lyn @ Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) HIV Consultation in Chiang Mai 20-22/3/2011

Lyn was privileged to join fifty members and partners of EAA who participated in an EAA HIV Consultation in Chiang Mai, Thailand in March 20-22, 2011. The consultation was hosted by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), in collaboration with the Church of Christ in Thailand AIDS Ministry (CAM).

The consultation was an opportunity for EAA members and partners to meet together face-to-face to share and evaluate experiences and to broaden and deepen their joint work, both in plans for action and in theological reflection and understanding.

EAA described the consultation as follows:

“With 2010 having been the target year for fulfilment of key governmental commitments on HIV and AIDS (specifically concerning universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support), 2011 is seen as a vital year for assessing progress, analyzing and learning from past experiences, and re-focusing advocacy efforts and strategies in order to contribute to a renewed momentum in the global response to HIV, so that unmet targets are not ignored and are ultimately achieved.

This consultation will take place in the mid-term of the current “Live the Promise” Campaign Framework (2009-2012). It is thus timely to take stock of the campaign thus far, to consolidate our efforts and to envision the work that remains to be done.”

CABSA was chosen as one of the four case studies presented at the consultation, and Lyn had the opportunity to share a presentation on “Inviting Channels of Hope Facilitators on a Gender Journey”

Key presentations (including CABSA's!) can be downloaded from the EAA website

Participants had the opportunity to visit local faith based projects. Lyn said: "During my visit to a local Buddhist temple with a long running HIV project, I realised again that people of different faith backgrounds are all motivated by compassion."

Following the consultation, the EAA held a one-day workshop to enhance the participation of faith-based organizations in Global Fund processes.

You can read reports from the EAA and other participants

Live the Promise: HIV and AIDS campaign bulletin no. 2 / 2011

The World YWCA attends EAA Consultation in Thailand

WACC participates in Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance consultation

CCA e-Letter


(Photo Credit EAA)

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Lyn @ WACC-AR Seminar on Media, Gender Justice and Peace-building 14 -15 March 2011

After two days of talking and listening, a group of nearly 30 Christian communicators were brought to silence at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The reality of their seminar topic, and the result of failure of the processes they were deliberating on, was shown in stark reality.

This visit came at the end of the World Association of Christian Communication- Africa Region (WACC-AR) Seminar on Media, Gender Justice and Peace-building held at EPR Guesthouse at Kiyovu, Kigali, Rwanda, From 14th to 15th March 2011. WACC is a global network of communicators, journalists and activists committed to using communication media for social change.

For two days the group from all over Africa reflected on the role of the media, and particularly of Christian media, in peace-building and in ensuring gender equity in peace-building processes and reporting thereof.

From the devotions, to the many diverse presentations, participants were made aware of the effects of violence and conflict and the impact of different forms of violence particularly on women.  A short summary of the different presentations will follow below.

The presentation reflecting on the situation in Rwanda and the visit to the Genocide memorial reminded me in a particular way of the situation around HIV.  We heard about rape (particularly rape by men who were known to be HIV positive) as weapon of war, and the role this plays in the spread of HIV in the region. 

There are however more fundamental thoughts that keeps going through my mind.  The atrocities in Rwanda were only possible because one group viewed another group as “other”, “less human”, “unworthy” – is this not also what happens with HIV?  We stigmatise people we view as “other”!  

I also think of the press in South Africa, and the way recent news reports emphasise difference (especially racial difference) – I hear warning signals!  In Rwanda one group could refer to another as “cockroaches” – and then it becomes easy to “step on” someone, to destroy them. I pray that we in South Africa, and people working with HIV everywhere, will be more careful of our language and “othering”!

(Photo's and official communique will follow)

You can read the official communique from the seminar here.

Report from Seminar

Welcome from Rev. Achowah Umenei, WACC-AR President.

Dr. Tharcisse Gatwa, General Secretary of Council of Protestant Churches in Rwanda introduced: Bishop Samuel Kayinamura, Methodist Church of Rwanda who lead the devotion from Ezekiel 45:9.

He emphasised the key focus on violence in this verse, and the effect violence has on the victims and the perpetrators. He associated the violence in the time of Ezekiel with the violence in Africa at this time.

The first response could be passiveness or cowardliness.  He referred to the words of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, who aligns passivity to accomplishes of injustice and violence

The second would be counter violence – some would say this is better than passivity, and that this has something positive, as violence is not accepted. The principles Jesus teaches asks us not to respond to bad with bad - Matt 5:39. Martin Luther King Jr says counter-violence will increase violence, you will kill the one who hates, but you will not kill hatred. Darkness cannot take away darkness, only light can take away darkness.

The call of God is to respond to violence with non-violence, saying no to violence or doing bad things to others.  Ghandi says that this is where the future of the world lies.  Respect is key to non-violence

We need to say no to violence and to counter-violence, this is not submission or degradation of the human, it is to resist the negative and use the power of love, with action of truth, justice and peace.

Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, Council of Protestant Churches Rwanda, in his welcoming remarks emphasised the importance of this particular seminar being held in Rwanda and the importance of gender reporting in the context of violence, conflict and post conflict situations.  He highlighted the importance of media and Christian media as transformative tool and the vast learnings possible from the people of Rwanda


Rev Dave Wanless introduced WACC, a global network of communicators, journalists and activists committed to using communication media for social change.


-            People’s humanity
-            Importance of culture
-            Importance of participation through hearing all voices
-            Creating community for social change

Conference Participants

Lyn’s Comments: My notes from the presentations will follow. As usual, I emphasise that this is my notes, and that I might not always represent the speakers accurately.  I apologise if this happens, and will link to the full presentations as soon as this is available (I will add photo's later):

On the global stage: UNSCR 1325 and subsequent UN resolution on women’s involvement in conflict and peace building - Dr. Sarah Macharia (WACC Global)

Dr. Macharia reminded participants of the recent 100th celebration of International Women’s Day, where women worldwide gathered on bridges, to highlight the role women can play in building bridges of peace in times of conflict and to call for greater participation of women. She highlighted linkages between media discourse and local, national and international policies.

She reminded participants of a number of international policies and frameworks that have been enacted and the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) of WACC that took place in 108 countries.

UNSCR 1325 was adopted in 2000 and was a landmark framework on the participation and representation of women in media. This resolution binds UN states to take special steps to prevent violence again women, include them in peacekeeping and peace building forces and processes and entrenches women’s participation in peacekeeping negotiations.

Three key supporting UN resolutions followed after 1325. UNSCR 1820, signed in 2008, recognises conflict related sexual violence as a key global security issue and calls for mechanisms to address this. 

A number of international and regional resolutions and processes support this and national action plans should support these resolutions. Although women have always been involved in local peace processes, only 7% of participants in formal peace building processes are women. Women’s roles are not acknowledged at the formal and media level and are often locked out of formal peace keeping processes, but they still participate as activists.

The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) of WACC has been operating since 1995 and have teams of volunteers evaluating news media reporting across different disciplines in a large number of countries, looking for gender bias and stereotyping in reporting. Last report was published in 2010. Peace is one of the topics covered. As media to a significant way shape reshape and reinforce knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards groups, this programme is very important.

GMMP 2010 Results on peace reporting:

- 56% print, 22% radio, 22% TV – implications for advocacy
- subjects of news: 21% female, 79% male
- stories with women as central focus, 9% globally: 5% in Europe, 3% in Asia and 14% in Africa
- Gender stereotyping (exaggerating) – 30% neutral, 65% reinforces, only 5% challenges
- Highlighting gender inequality – Only 4%! 96% ignore opportunity to address inequality

Dr Macharia recounted an unusual news report from the Standard newspaper in Kenya of a group of local women whose peace efforts transcended local clans, barriers and borders and the way this report was presented. This kind of reporting should be encouraged

Role of civil society

- Become involved!

- Initiate dialogue with newsroom editors, congratulating them on good projects and using the statistics,

- Take part in media monitoring programme,

- Developing critical media reading and listening skills – read between the lines, ask questions about who is left out and why.


The impact of conflict on women: Why are women a particularly vulnerable group in situations of conflict? Ms Claudine Kpondzo

Ms Kpondzo started by identifying what we see as conflict, noting that it is normal, inevitable, necessary and can build or destroy relationships. Although we are on the one hand very familiar with conflict, we view it as undesirable, negative and something to be eradicated.  However it can be viewed as the birth pains of a system in need of change and offers the potential to transform and bring about positive growth.

Conflict was defined as a state of human interaction where there is disharmony, or a perceived divergence of interest, needs or goals. There is a perception that interests, need or goals cannot be achieved due to interference from another person or people, conflict is between people and is a state or relationship characterised by disharmony.  There is competition over what is perceived to be limited resources and involves some level of confrontation which may escalate to violence. Unmanaged conflict can eventually escalate into widespread destruction or devastation.

Conflict can however also be positive, as it offers the opportunity for resolving unbalanced power and relations.  It can lead to greater awareness and growth and it is a way of solving problems. Conflict is an immutable force of society – we have the choice to view it positively and work constructively with it, or to view it negatively and avoid it.

Functions of conflict

-            Can build new relationships

-            Help establish identity and independence

-            Helps parties asses each other’s power and work to redistribute power

-            Safety valve mechanism which helps to sustain relationships

-            Creates or modifies rules norms laws and institutions

-            Conflict is NOT violence

Ms Kpondzo invited participants to describe who they understand a “Woman” to be, and went on to highlight some of the results of a study of rural women.  Although the group identified women mainly with positive attributes, the study showed that women view themselves negatively and think that they are not part of society but only there to take care of everyone, to give all without taking anything and that they do not receive respects, care or protection. They view themselves as expendable and replaceable.

Effect and vulnerability of conflict on women

-            Breakdown of communication

-            Terrible impact on families and communities – instead of thinking of welfare and development, people think about how they could harm the other, or solidify thei own position

-            This is even more severe in violent conflict – mobility is endangered and this limits access to basic commodities and services

-            Physical vulnerability

-            Used as war trophies, war arms and to stop procreation

-            Women may not be included in normal development activity and opportunities, and might therefore already be economically and otherwise vulnerable prior to conflict

-            Physically – rape, slavery, abuse, maids and sexual toys to war lords

-            Emotionally –

o   consequences of rape, STI and HIV, undesired children,

o   cannot share her shame

o   pain of seeing husband and children enrolled in war and in danger

o   pain of becoming what you do not want to be

o   pain of loved ones going hungry

o   helplessness

o   feeling of uselessness and powerlessness

o   forced sex work for survival, and subsequent humiliation and rejection if she survives

-            Morally

o   losses moral integrity, respect and being role model

-            Spiritually

o   Seek spiritual homes to get away from the bad past and find forgiveness

o   There is new vulnerability

In media women are portrayed as fleeing from conflict with children on their back or by their side, pictures of women searching basic requirements

Way forward

-            Include women in prevention, management and transformation of conflict

-            Dissemination of resolutions and policy documents so that women are aware of their rights

-            Women should be educated to know that they should benefit from their work and build capacity in every domain

-            All of us should learn that there are alternative ways to solve problems and reach agreement than violence and should make sure that we teach this to children.


Involving women in peace building: Lessons from DRC. Mr. Descartes Mukukya (FEPADE)

Mr. Mukukya spoke of the work of FEPADE (federation of women for peace and development) in the remote areas of South Kivu in the DRC.

He gave a short history of conflict in DRC. At present more than 70% of the population in DRC is female!  Although men are the ones who went to fight, it had severe effects on women in the country and women were very poorly represented in peace building processes and peace building conferences. Few expert positions were taken by women. It became clear that it would be impossible to have an inclusive and lasting peace process without meaningful involvement of women, but it was not clear how to do this or implement UNSCR 1325. This was complicated by the large number of tribes and the historic political and other inequalities between tribes.  Intermarriages between tribes created a situation that traditional ‘opponents’ were now family. The women have an important role to play to ensure that thie traditional conflicts don’t blow up.

It is necessary that women become aware of the role they can play, but this is difficult when large percentages of these women are illiterate.

Organisations such as FEPADE become strong advocacy organisations to ensure that there is greater involvement of women. Education of girls is the important first step to ensure empowerment, economically and in other ways, of women so that they can play their appropriate role in dealing with conflict and political issues

In post conflict situation there is no situation that can be seen as ‘apolitical’. If we are talking about peace and reconciliation, all parts of society should be involved. Women should be organised and capacitated to play their full role. Development necessitates working together as men and women in order to address social, political economic and cultural issues.

Reporting on violence against women and girls in conflict situations

Ms Flora Kayitesi represented ARFEM, the Rwanda Women Journalist Association, an organisation highlighting women’s issues in the media and encouraging young girls to enter the profession. They use the slogan “there is nothing to fear” (during the genocide the media played a role in inciting violence – causing fear and distrust against the media and against entering the profession).

ARFEM is member of a partnership of women’s journalist organisations, which meets annually in South Kivu and has the opportunity to meet with victims of sexual violence – women who have been humiliated and stripped of their dignity. These journalists go back to their areas after this visit and develop a series of documentaries highlighting the issues in the correct gender sensitive way.  This is part of a campaign to end violence against women, especially sexual violence in conflict areas such as the DRC, where she reported that nearly 500 women are raped every hour as a weapon of war.

ARFEM is also working in partnership with Radio Maedeleo to work for access to ARV for women who were infected through rape in DRC:

-        Preparing series of documentaries calling for access to ARVs which will be aired on main radio station in Rwanda. (Radio is the most accessible medium)

-        Accessing victims is not easy as they are often in rural areas, where there is a problem with transport

-         Media houses not interested in sexual violence

-          Language barriers exist

-          Few journalists interested in travelling to DRC

-            There are poor feedback systems to determine how effective the process is.

Women journalists should be sensitised as only they can really reach out to highlight the plight of these women.

Day 2 Tuesday 14th March 2010

Devotions were led by Rev Dave Wanless, WACC treasurer from Jos 5:9. He reminded us that in Lent we are reminded that God’s grace is enough for us.  Going towards the feast of Passover and Easter Sunday, through the period of lent and the pain of the Passion, we are reminded of the ‘enoughness’ of God!

Engendered peace building  Ms Sandra Tumwesigye (ISIS)

Ms Tumwesigye spoke about the peace process in Uganda after 20 years of war.

-            There were many attempts to reconcile – a woman was key in many of the processes

-            There was distrust and interference from other countries, including neighbouring countries

-            Progress led to government and the Lord’s Resistance Army signing a ‘Cessation of Hostilities’ agreement.

-            However, the Final Peace Agreement was not signed and the process came to an halt

In the follow up process there was an attempt at “Engaging to ‘engender’”

-         Women activist challenged the definition of peace – and questioned if the end of fighting mean sustainable peace

-         They asked where women and gender experts where in the process

-         They were concerned at the lack of focus on women’s needs and interests

The Women’s Priorities identified included:

-         Security for Internally Displaced Women upon their return.

-         Right to own and access land

-         Support for reintegration and rehabilitation of former combatants, abductees, new families, children born and orphaned in captivity

            -         Women’s marginalisation and economic exclusion

Subsequent Efforts and Achievements

-            Capitilized on visit of UNIFEM Chief of Africa

-            Formation of Uganda Women’s peace coalition

-            Peace march, peace torch

-            Lobbying

-            Specific consultation and meetings with women’ leaders gathered women’s views on justice accountability and peace in order to influence the negotiations – video documentary – peace at all costs

-         Women Peace coalition provide background information to parties to talks, drafted their own position on issues

-         Collaborated with other organisations including Amani Forum

-         Countrywide mobilization to build solidarity with women; Peace Caravan, signature campaign, media coverage

-         Peace Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda (PRDP) was conceived with the overall goal of peace and consolidation

-         Problem – no gender analysis, women not included, No attention to women’s need and priorities – eg GBV, sexual and reproductive health, psychological health, land and property rights, access to justice, girl education, women’s economic empowerment

-         Women’s Task force for a Gender Responsive PRDP created

o   Needs assessment

o   Participation in PRDP governance structures

o   WTF invites to apply for govt special fund for peace building

o   Awareness raising

o   Capacity building and advocacy – gender sensitive indicators and recommendation for result matrix, implementation guidelines and communication guideline

o   Finally it remains important to acknowledge the degree to which gender inequality increases the likelihood of conflict and addressing women’s post conflict needs ensures sustainable peace, recovery and development


Churches involvement in conflict resolution Dr. Tharcisse Gatwa (CPR)

Dr Gatwa highlighted that ‘every square meter of this country felt the blood of a human being’ and that the church failed in its role prior to, during and after the genocide.

He highlighted Partnership/Hospitality as a theological model in church mediation This was based on the churches’ mandate to act as agents of reconciliation, justice and mercy; and the New Testament  perspective of peace which includes:

-            Breaking barriers and divisions of nations, cultures, races and classes

-            Unmasking dominance, reducing it to responsible action (call from Paul to bring master in partnership with his former slave)

-            Engaging in conflict resolution is entering into a process of overcoming an exclusive “wall mentality” and building community.

-            These processes are slow and need careful preparation and relationship building

According to Dr Gatwa, the Rwandan conflict was ‘shaped into ethnic ideology’.  The process owes to the many historical, cultural, colonial, political and missionary narratives. This “marrying” of different versions of history with myths, facts and reality would legitimise, reinvent and magnify the past in the passion to monopolise power, thus setting up a justification of power and difference. Suffering and emotional resentment of past generations were constantly renewed. One group would celebrate their identity, in their own boundaries, rarely taking into account the frustrations, the injustices, the marginalization and the harm experienced by the other group.

He explained that racial identity in Rwanda was a “colonial ascription” and that colonial power elaborated and offered ideological tools to formalise and enforce these differences.  The factors of integration were eliminated, differences were accentuated and this was elevated to racial status.

In Rwanda a “bad” media campaign (fuelled by government) promoted an ideology of hatred and stereotypes based on the theory of difference, denomination and oppression of one group over the other– greater polarisation

Dr Gatwa regretted that the role of churches in the mediation process was “Too little, too late”!

Gender Based Violence in post conflict situations such as Rwanda. Ms Zaina Nyiramatama, (HAGURUKA)

Ms Nyiramatama identified Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s and men’s ability to enjoy rights and freedom on basis of gender equality, but emphasised that this is more often directed at women.  It includes acts that inflict mental, economical, physical, or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivation of liberty and human rights.

The consequences to women include lack of self esteem, illness such as HIV, psychological disorders, hopelessness, isolation and lack of initiative for self development and national development. It is important to remember the gender based violence is a power issue, and is most common in domestic situations.

Some of the good practices in Rwanda include:

-            GBV committees sensitising the general population,

-            Government, security forces, CSO,  churches encourage denunciation of perpetrators of violence,

-            Schools provide daily updates on GBV,

-            Women economic empowerment

-            Community policing and awareness

-            IMPURUZA (SOS) strategy

-            Praise and rewarding people who denounce GBV

-            Media involvement

-            Free hot lines

-            Isange (welcome) Centre


-            Involve all

-            Increase awareness of parents and teachers

-            Children should know rights and how to take protective measures agains violence

-            Avoid youth being idle

-            Women should change their attitude of life dependence on men

-            Effective enforcement of law and protective rights

After the last discussion session, the group visited one of the many genocide memorial centres providing a stark reminder of how a community and country can ‘fracture’ and loose all humanity.  It was particularly important for this group of communicators to focus on the role that communication played in creating the situation that fuelled the horror

The seminar was closed by greeting from WACC General Secretary Rev. Karin Achtelstetter, Dr Achowah Umenei, WACC-AR President and Dr. Tharcisse Gatwa, General Secretary of Council of Protestant Churches in Rwand.


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Minnie @ Public Lecture - More Peace, Less AIDS at UNISA 17/03/2011

(Minenhle Moyo is CABSA’s regional representative in Gauteng)

Here is a brief report on this seminar I attended last Thursday. Other CABSA facilitators who attended were: Elzaan De Villiers, Tumani Santungwana, Sophie Motsiri and Samuel Ditsele. 

The keynote address was given by Ms Patricia Perez (Argentinean Social Justice Activist and Nobel Prize Nominee). The general sense of her presentation was on campaigning for peace in this time of HIV and AIDS in the world, peace comes when we fight Domestic Violence and Abuse.

What was of note to me was also the points raised by other speakers at this event -

Dr Kgosi TKS Letlape: He says Transactional sex is one of our biggest problems today. It happens everywhere, even in churches by the leaders. This has brought about what is known as 'Skirt Upliftment' in these places, including workplaces etc - women get promoted when they lift their skirts for whomever in that place.

Some churches bring spirituality to HIV and AIDS - they call it a demon and they stop people on ART, saying they have been healed. Why don't they treat diabetes and other sicknesses the same and tell people to stop taking their medication.

Then Ms Chriselda Kananda (Managing Director of Positive Talk Services) shared her personal story, which brought in many of the challenges that still exist today, with culture and its demands on woman whose husbands have died to be inherited. She could afford to walk away and not choose the men, but many women do not have that option still in many places. She challenged the audience, in particular women, to contribute to peace in this time by teaching their boy children to love and care for women; promote fidelity and not snatch another woman's husband. She also advocated for more treatment options for women that are simplified and accessible.

I basically enjoyed the sessions but realised we still going round the same things that have been raised already in the HIV and AIDS as well as health arena. I am left longing for more and one man raised the issue of finding African solutions that work for us, one way being to engage communities and having them come up with their own strategies of dealing with infidelity, curbing the spread of HIV and cultural factors that contribute to its spread. I once worked with an Organisation – SAFAIDS -  that did this and had success stories as the community came up with responses that did not put humans in danger in terms of their health etc eg a popular one - appeasing spirits through giving up a girl child to the family that has been wronged. One community in Zimbabwe then said instead of appeasing with a girl the ancestors would accept cows instead. Long story, but that helped in changing perspectives and responses in this time of HIV

 Lyn's Comment: Minnie raises a very important point here!  This aligns closely to CABSA's shift towords HIV competence adn the work of "Community Life Competence", and organisation previously known as "AIDS Competence".  According to this model a community has the competence to solve its own problems - we need to unock this potential in order for organisations to find solutions that work for them!  You can learn more from

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