CABSA was at ...2008

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Lyn @ General Assembly of the ‘All Africa Council of Churches’ in Maputo. 12/2008

Lyn attended the General Assembly of the ‘All Africa Council of Churches’ in Maputo as a guest of our partners, EHAIA, the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa of the World Council of Churches.  Lyn attended a series of workshops on HIV and the church.  A very special dimension of these workshops was the participation of Christians living with both HIV and disabilities.  It was a humbling to share their experiences of ‘multiple stigma’- the stigma of being a woman, in some case a woman rejected and abused by her husband, the stigma of being HIV positive and also the stigma of living with disability in Africa.  

There were many other special moments during the Assembly – a special session focussing on Zimbabwe, workshops on Christianity and ecology; sessions on poverty and development and workshops on gender and religion amongst others. 

‘For me my participation in these unique events confirmed the need for an increased focus on advocacy in the work of CABSA.  I hope that our friends and partners will join us on this journey of exploring the different dimensions of advocacy within the church and also in the wider world in which we operate.

The Translator during a group session     Dancing women at the launch of
the Gender Audit

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Lyn @ "Churches and HIV and AIDS: Challenged or Changed?” Dakar, Senegal. 11/08

In late November Lyn attended a PACANet (Pan African Christian AIDS Network) conference in Dakar, Senegal.  CABSA has been involved with PACANet since its inception.   The theme for this Pre-ICASA conference was “Churches and HIV and AIDS: Challenged or Changed?”

Lyn talks of her experience:  “This was my first visit to Francophone Africa, and to some extent it was ME that was ‘challenged or changed’!  The plenary session had simultaneous translation with earphones.  If you remember to put on your earphones as soon as someone starts speaking in French or Portuguese, this works very well.  Once we split into theme groups, it was not so easy!  I was the facilitator for the ‘prevention track’ of the conference.  As you know, this is often one of the most difficult areas for the church to deal with.  Just imagine this difficult topic, and it goes like this: I welcome everyone but then I must remember to stop, and wait as the translator translates what I said (as I do not understand French or Portuguese, I can only hope and believe that he is actually saying what I said!)  Then I introduce the session, and then I wait while the translator translates, then one of the participants say something in French, which I do not understand, then I wait for the translation, and so we went on for two days!  I developed a new respect for missionaries and aid workers who operate in this way every day!”

In spite of the language challenges and short time available, the group, representing 26 African countries, developed a reflection statement that was presented to the ICASA Conference.  In this statement, available on the CABSA website, the group reflected on the response of the church to the epidemic, evaluated strengths and weaknesses in the response, and committed to deeper dialogue and collaboration in and amongst themselves, strengthening partnerships with other stakeholders, and strongly advocating for a broader compassionate, engaging and competent response. 

(Photo: Lyn with the other South Africans participating in the conference; George Snyman van Hands@Work in Africa and Zoliwa Thabatha from the Evangelical Lutheran Church)

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Nelis and Lyn @ Living Hope USAID Capacity Building Conference. 8-10/9/2008

PDF icon Collaboration.pdf2.71 MB
Microsoft Office document icon IdealNonProfit.doc59 KB


The Living Hope Community Centre, the USAID Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and the Honorable Eric M. Bost, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, hosted the South Africa Faith and Community Development Conference held on September 8, 9, and 10, 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa.  

Presentation by Dr Lori Jenkins, World ORT

Download Documents below: 

- Powerpoint presentation

- Profile of an Ideal Non-Profit. Notes taken by E de Villiers, Building Hope Foundation.

At the conference:

The Consulate General of the U.S.A in Cape Town

Dr Jekins explaining a finer point.

Writing a proposal...


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Nelis and Lyn @ Theologians Address HIV Prevention. 02/02/08

Christian theologians address HIV prevention with truth and hope

“Epidemics are moments of truth, when both knowledge and power are unveiled”, stated Dr Neville Hicks, Uniting Church, Australia, setting the tone for the global theological consultation on HIV prevention held this week in South Africa.
By the end of the consultation, Rev. Japé Heath of ANERELA+ (African Network of Religious Leaders living with or personally affected by HIV and AIDS) said: “Within the group there was an incredible experience and reality of listening and being listened to - from people of different denominations, different continents, different cultures as well as clearly listening to people living with HIV”.

The consultation, convened by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, brought together 35 theologians, ethicists, practitioners and Christians living with HIV. It provided a valuable opportunity for a diverse group representing many countries and church traditions to have a frank and open discussion, in a safe space, of key and sensitive topics around HIV prevention. The focus of this group was to share how Christian faith and practice can deepen engagement, compassion, and effectiveness in HIV prevention efforts -- not simply by a focus on personal behavior, but by addressing the wider social, political and economic injustices in society which make some people more vulnerable to HIV infection.

Atieno Odenyo, regional partnerships advisor for UNAIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa, emphasized the roles and responsibilities of faith communities in the international HIV arena. She challenged churches and faith communities to be involved in HIV prevention on the global, national, community and individual level.

Prof. Bryan Massingale from the USA described the consultation as a “moment of hope for the church to articulate a framework to more effectively address the issues of prevention”.   The report of the consultation will be an important tool to catalyze further theological reflection and networking, building on the long and active involvement of faith-based organizations in the response to HTIV and AIDS. 

“We were called here to break the silence” stated participants from South America leading worship, who reminded those present that “we were called together not by a virus, we were gathered not by a disease – but by Christ speaking into our context and situation.”

When finalized, the report of the meeting will be available from the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance ( and posted on the website:

The consultation was supported financially by nine organizations (church-related, foundations, and UN agencies) and was hosted locally by CABSA (the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa).

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on global trade and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see
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