Reports on CABSA Churches Channels of Hope Trainings and Refresher Workshops

Read reports on our facilitator trainings and refresher Workshops:

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CCoH Facilitators Training 2, Western Cape 27-30 June 2017

                                                           

The Western Cape facilitators training was unique in its kind, as it was done in two parts and a month apart. We are once again grateful for Helderberg DRC in Somerset-West that hosted the second part of the training also.

We had three women from Netherlands that are currently in South Africa busy with research that also enrolled for the training. One of them could not complete the training as she had to go back home for personal reasons. CABSA hosted two of them as interns while they are busy with their research looking at, the connection between Health Care Profession and Religion. One of the research focus is; The Role of the faith leader in medication adherence of children living with HIV.  

The training concluded with a renewed sense of commitment from every one that was there.  CABSA want to wish our new Facilitators well as they start a new journey as a channel of hope. A special word of thanks to Kundai who have shared his experience of the training. This article can be found below.

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Kundai's article on the Western Cape CCoH training

When CABSA invited me to attend the Churches Channels of Hope Facilitator’s Training recently held in Cape Town at the Helderberg Community Church I was sceptical. I did not see the bigger picture of the workshop. For me I thought it was just one of those workshops were people are educated on HIV similar to curriculums of matric.

This however turned to be a total opposite of what I had in mind. The involvement to me personally was life changing. The approach, which the workshop taught us to be channels of hope in our faith communities, was totally a different and a comprehensive approach. For me it was not only more of absorbing information but also to have some discussions on the realities which affect individuals and our communities in the journey with HIV.

For me, the most outstanding issues throughout the training was people who gave testimonies about their experience and journey with HIV, the importance of faith communities in HIV prevention and how powerful the church is in HIV prevention and the stigma around HIV. I have learned that we tend to stigmatise people because we do not have enough knowledge and information. Most of us in our faith communities think that we know about HIV but the actual fact is we have little knowledge and information.

Correct and accurate information on HIV was given in the simplistic form, supported with practical activities that brought in more understanding of HIV in a broader sense. The workshop equipped us with facilitation skills on how to facilitate HIV discussions in our faith based communities. It was my first experience to be exposed to a programme of such an intensity were people were willing to share their life stories and their journeys.

The CCoH facilitators training also gave me the opportunity to learn from my fellow trainees their experience with HIV in their faith communities through sharing their stories and activities, which I found very similar to my community as well. Regardless of our race, gender, economic status, origin and ethnicity HIV affects our communities and us all.

Combining the information that I now have. And looking at the experiences some of the people in poverty-stricken communities in countries such as Rwanda, DRC, Zambia and Malawi (their efforts in HIV prevention) had, there is no excuse for me and my faith community not to rise and take up the challenge that is bringing light into the darkness created by HIV as a channel of hope. Looking at the resources, I have at my disposal I will have failed my community if I do not facilitate the lessons I have learned from the training.

A big thank you to the facilitators Aneleh and Clive, trainees and CABSA at large!!!!!!!!!

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CCoH HIV/AIDS Workshop and Wellness Campaign, Thokoza, 18/5/2017

A team of CCoH facilitators had a HIV/AIDS Workshop and Wellness Campaign which was held in Thokoza.  

CANSA, Ekurhuleni Local Municipality, Social Services and Department of Communications were invited to be part of the workshop and campaign, they were also given an opportunity to do presentation.

Each CCoH facilitator had an opportunity to facilitate a short session which was exciting because it was the first time they all facilitated in their communities. They realised that there is still a very big need to run HIV programmes and workshops in their community. It went very well.

   

 

 

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CCoH Facilitators Training, Western Cape, 9-11 May & 27-30 June 2017

                                                      

CABSA had the opportunity to do a training for faith leaders in Western Cape. The training was hosted at the Helderberg DRC in Somerset-West - we are thankful that they made their facilities available to us!

This training has an unique structure. Our trainings are normally done over a week, but this one will be done in two blocks over more than a month. It further had very exciting dynamics, as we have national and international participants.

Much learning took place in the first block, but there were also moments of reflection and time spent in prayer.

HIV is real and everyone whether locally or internationally share the concern that we should do more. CABSA helps to enable faith communities to respond competently in “doing more”.

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CABSA/CHABAHIVA Trust Peer Educators Training, Kwa-Thema, 3-6 April 2017

CABSA was invited to be part of a Peer Educators Training for Springs Field Band, supported by the CHABAHIVA Trust. 

Wanda Olivier and Nonceba Ravuku trained 21 members of the Springs Field Band as HIV Peer Educators. The Field Band leaders who assisted us were: Vuyani Mukandi, Lesedi Matsetela, Rass Fakude and Nkululeko Sukwe

The Peer Educators enjoyed the training tremendously. Some of the highlights were: learning to communicate with the HIV cubes, addressing stigma and learning the correct facts and using the correct language when we talk about HIV.
You do us proud, Peer Educators!

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CCoH Facilitators Training, Mazenod, February 2017

CABSA has completed another fun filled yet deeply contemplative training. It is during these training sessions where we learned to “bleed” together as the pain that this pandemic brings touches us all.

The stories told over the duration of the training created a deep sense of being compelled by the love of Christ to do something that is tangible that will bring sunshine into often darker situations than what the pandemic itself creates. This darkness is caused by stigma.

One of the faith leaders responded in conversation to a similar statement;…………”We must change”

Thursdays in Black was observed as there is a deep understanding amongst the facilitators of the impact abuse have on our society.

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CCoH Workshop Community Chest 26-27 January 2017

Churches Channels of Hope Workshop

“I want to be that sweetness in the life of someone living with HIV.”

………….these were the words of an attendee, after we completed the closing ceremony that focused on the bitterness that this pandemic create in the lives of people infected and affected with HIV and how we as the church brings sweetness in to their lives again.  

   CABSA in collaboration with Community Chest held a two day workshop in Belhar in Cape Town. Pastors and faith leaders from different denominations was in attendance.

There was liberty in sharing individual struggles and experiences to the point that there was no dry eye left in the workshop. But there was not only tears as we engaged in the activities and discussions in group work. One gentleman said the following; “……..I’ve been to four HIV & AIDS workshops already but this one blew my mind away”

Another minister said that if he could have his way, he will make this workshop compulsery for all churches. The two days has been a real enriching experience even for the CABSA staff as we in a refreshing way experience the presence of the Lord.

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CCoH Workshop Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation 22-23 September 2016

                                                                                         Churches Channels of Hope Workshop

 

                                                                            

CABSA was invited to do a Two Day Churches Channels of Hope workshop for the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation. Ministers and church leaders from across Cape Town has been invited and we had twenty six in attendance.  

On the first day we paused to pray for the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as he has been struggling with his health. We were later informed that the Archbishop was released from hospital and is recovering at home.

From the testimonies shared we were once again reminded that, we as faith communities and society as a whole have much to do to counter the HIV pandemic. One of the comments that came out during the comprehensive prevention sessions is……….”The church has a roll to play in destigmatizing condoms as our people are sexually active……”

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CCoH Facilitators Training, Mazenod, August 2016

CCOH August Training

Our training at Mazenod was a great adventure this time around. The faith leaders that was there was of a younger age group and therefore there was great energy throughout the training.

One of the training team members made the observation; “We assume people know about this pandemic but every time we do training we realise that no matter how exposed people are there is still a great sense of unawareness in our communities. People need to read more as we all are affected…it’s about us”

These are some of the responses that came from the participants

  • “The training made me realise that I am truly called of God to be a channel of hope. I am ready!”

  • “Now I know how to speak to my sister who is HIV positive, I am no longer afraid.”

  • It was for me more than a training. It was a Life-transforming encounter with the Lord. It was so personal and profound, it made me aware of my own brokenness, that I am as vulnerable as anybody else, therefore there’s no such thing as US and THEM. I am grateful for the opportunity that was afforded to me to become part of what the Lord was doing over the course of the week of training……….”

At CABSA we are grateful to be coworkers with Christ in this ministry we are committed to.

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CCoH Workshop World Vision Mbekweni 18-19 August 2016

Two day Workshop Mbekweni

 

CABSA in partnership with World Vision had a two day workshop with faith leaders from Mbekweni. Mbekweni is a small township in the Paarl area that has come into the media spotlight due to Luvo Manyonga who is from this area and represented South Africa in the track and field events at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He won a silver medal in the long jump that made not only his family proud but the whole community and the rest of South Africa.

CABSA could share in the joy of the faith leaders and community organisations that was present. There were 29 people in attendance from twenty churches and community organisations.

The two day training ended with the Closing Ceremony which serves as a reminder that people are suffering and that there is sadness and hardship, but we can bring joy to people’s lives as we are God’s hands and feet to one another.

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CCoH Workshop Porterville 26-27 July 2016

Two day Workshop Porterville

                                                                        

CABSA held a very insightful two day workshop in a very cold and wet Porterville as the Western Cape is in the heart of its winter. The workshop was attended by the URCSA Porterville, Kerk van God van Profesie and Elim Pinkster and Department of Social Development.

The cold weather could not stop the participants from engaging in discussions and activities. Most of the participants have never been at any workshop or even just an information sharing session on HIV and AIDS. We had a great number of people in their twenties and this at times paved the way for very robust discussions.

The church in Porterville is very enthusiastic about the prospects of collaborating with BADISA to have a meaningful ministry to those living with HIV and AIDS

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CCoH Workshop Caledon 19-20 July 2016

Caledon Two Day Workshop

 Workshop in Caledon received a great interest from the ministers and ministry groups from the various churches. The churches in Caledon have good relationships and this has influenced the attendance and also the spirit of the two day training.

 

The workshop became a safe space where people could share their fears and ignorance about the pandemic and some shared their personal stories with the group. There was much laughter and tears as the workshop progressed.

                                        

The participants expressed the need to start a ministry in their churches to better assist and minister to the rest of the family of God who is living with HIV & AIDS.

We want to thank the URCSA CET for their support in making ths workshop possible.

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CCoH Workshop with Desmond & Leah Tutu Foundation. 23-24 June 2016

CCoH Two Day workshop

CABSA was invited by the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation to conduct a two day CCoH workshop for faith leaders. The participants came from different communities of the Cape Town Metropole. On day one we were graced by the Leah Tutu and her daughter Mpho who spend the morning with us participating in the activities and discussions.

The two days was exciting as the participants was very engaging.  We moved from a condom being called; “of the devil” to a point where everybody was intently following the condom demonstration trying to figure out the female condom, which is still a foreign concept to some of our communities. One of the participants responded by saying…….”the female condom is really a good option.”

The two day workshop waas closed with the Closing Ceremony, that serves as a reminder that the Church can bring joy to lives that is often filled with heaviness.

 

 

 

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CCoH Faclitators Training, Mazenod June 2016

CCoH TRAINING Mazenod Retreat Center,    

 05-11June 2016

“I could not imagen that God can be so present at a training the way in the way He is here.”……..

 quotation by one of the participants

 CABSA in collaboration with the African Independent Churches has hosted a training of facilitators in Gauteng. This training was held at the Mazenod Catholic Retreat Centre. Mazenod have become a second home to CABSA as we’ve been making use of their facilitaties for some time. We are grateful to Brenda who coordinate the booking of the venue, she has a real servant heart and always goes out of her way to make the impossible possible for us.

We had five trainers who were really inspirational and influential, under the leadership of Tunde Fowe from Nigeria. He is on the far left in the photo below, next to him is Janine Ward from Gauteng, Rev Senamo(not part of the training team) Mini Moyo originally from Zimbabwe, Clive Swarts from the CABSA office in Cape Town and Sanah from Gauteng. We were supported for two days by Nonceba from the Guateng CABSA office and the CABSA Training Manager Aneleh.

                                                    

 This training has been a significant one as we had our first collaboration with the African Independent Churches( AIC). In the photo we have Rev Sonamo in the center  who has been very instrumental in forging the relationship between CABSA and the AIC. We were further blessed to have had him attending the training.

The participants came predominantly from an area called Vosloorus in Gauteng and CABSA is glad to partner with these participants to effect change in their community. We have seen the deflection of focus from the pandemic in the media over time, but on grass roots level the outcry of people living with HIV has grown loader and loader, therefor we will remain focus as we are given the opportunity to serve as catalyst for the faith communities to understand the vulnerabilities of our brothers and sisters.

                                                                    

This group was diverse on so many levels, black and white, rich and poor, professionals and unemployed, retired people and others not even sure what they want to do with their lives. However as we can see from some of their statements, they speak with one voice, a voice geared for action on different levels………….

“This will add value in my professional capacity and I am more equipped to teach and lead my team.”

“Help others as I have been helped.”

“Will go and volunteer my time few hours to helping people understand the HIV epidemic.”

“Going to impart with community and friends.”

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CCOH Facilitators Training Kenya April 2016


CCoH Facilitator Training Prepares Cohort of Church Leaders in Kenya

   "I am excited. My ministry will never be the same again.”  “When my church community gets trained they will respond better  to issues.”   “This training will help my ministry practically as I serve street children, single parents, alcoholics and the poor.”  “This training will have profound impact.”       

These are just a few comments made by participants as they completed a seven day intensive Facilitator Training sponsored by Churches for Grace at Moffat Bible College in Kijabe, Kenya from 17 to 23 April 2016. Churches for Grace collaborated with CABSA to use their well-honed curriculum designed to train people to be Channels of Hope. After 7 days of presentations, discussions, activities, assessments, late night study hours and lots of fun-filled interaction, the 24 participants from 4 regions in Kenya and even one from Uganda were still animated in discussing how they planned to use this training in their home communities. We shared a moment of solemn reflection during a special closing ceremony to remember the bitter tears evoked by the harsh realities of HIV balanced by the sweetness of God’s love, compassion and grace while lighting candles of hope that we are all prepared to take back to our respective communities.

In this inaugural Churches for Grace (CfG) training in Kenya a team of 4 CfG facilitators led by CABSAs Kenya representative, Kiarie Mwenda, and another experienced trainer, Minenhle Moyo, from South Africa took the cohort of pastors, church and community leaders through the Churches Channels of Hope curriculum. As a result of this training, participants from the northern desert region of Turkana; from the Mt. Elgon region in Western Kenya; from Meru, just north of Mt. Kenya; from a western Uganda border town; and from a number of communities in central Kenya will be taking their new training back to their families, churches, work places and communities. Churches for Grace now plans to mentor them as they look for ways to begin training other church leaders in their communities. As this curriculum is rolled out through an expanding network of “churches of grace”, we hope to see an increasing number of communities being transformed by the practical application of HIV awareness information, core competencies, and scriptural guiding principles. Faith leaders will be empowered to see their role in providing appropriate assistance, safe and more grace-filled spaces for people in their communities whose lives have been affected heavily by the HI virus and its effects. As more bodies of believers are empowered to extend grace and hope to overcome the sting of HIV in our communities, we expect to see evidence of radical change as the light of hope dispels the darkness and restores life.

Transformation has already begun in the hearts and minds of the 24 participants of this training. Hear some of their statements:

“This training has opened my mind because I have been stigmatizing other people.”
“It has changed my mind, encouraged and empowered me to improve in some areas of my life and in the church that I am serving.”
“It was so impactful. I am well trained and well equipped for works of service.”
“I was sharpened in my skills on how to handle, teach, counsel and interact with other organizations through the church and in the community to pass on God’s love through HIV ministry.”

Thanks to all who have been praying and contributing to make this training happen. We in Churches for Grace are excited, poised for action and waiting expectantly to see what God will do next through all of us.

Hope Carter for the CfG team 

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CCoH TRAINING Marianhill Retreat Center, KZN 03/2016

CCoH TRAINING (6-12 March 2016)

CABSA in partnership with the (KZNCC) Kwa-Zulu Natal Christian Council hosted a training of facilitators in KZN. This training was held at the Marrianhill Roman Catholic Retreat Centre.

We had six facilitators that was really inspirational and influential under the leadership of Minenhle Moyo. One of the participants said; “You have changed my life with all.” CABSA has over the past 14 years been equipping the Christian community and in the process have built a facilitator team that not only facilitate trainings and workshops locally but has become renowned in the Southern African Region and beyond.                   

The CABSA program was written to assist faith communities in their journeys towards HIV competence. Thereby CABSA is committed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge, skills and help in shaping appropriate attitudes, to model the indiscriminant love of Christ as channels of hope. CABSA is also committed to share their resources in response to the needs created by HIV and AIDS.

While the participants were predominantly from KZN, we further had two from the Western Cape, one from Gauteng and one from the Angola. The group consisted out of 6 females and 18 males who participated with a hunger to find out more and to have much of their uncertainties answered.

One pastor made the statement; “There is really not a division between us and them, there is really just an ‘us’.” speaking to the segregation that society made between those living with HIV and those who don’t.

One participant made a remark during the session on stats; “We are not exposed to these numbers in our villages, but what I see here is that my village is a microcosm of what is happening in our country and in the world. I can change the world by starting at home.”

Participants left the training with an excitement to implement the new found knowledge. We have already in their short term planning heard positive remarks of coming together to do workshops in the various communities. 

We want to say thank you to the dedicated team of facilitators who expanded our horizons as they led us into discovering new frontiers of competencies and encouraged us to be channels of hope in our faith communities and beyond.

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Churches Channels of Hope Express Training - 16-21 August 2015

 This was an unique training where a group of previously trained participants in the Fleiszer Legacy project had the opportunity to deepennand improve their skills and knowledge and be trained in the newly updated manual.

Read the report of a training team member and a participant as well as a training team member's reflection on one participant's growth.

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An Express Impression- from a training team member. 11/09/2015

Written by Minenhle Moyo

August 2015


As with everyone in the team, the Churches, Channels of Hope Express Follow-up Facilitator Training was new to me. First I wondered what would be included and what excluded, because the trainings are usually fully loaded packed with life changing stuff. I was also full of expectation about the participants who would be there, and a different mix of trainers. In all trainings I have been to, I have always enjoyed the training team complement as it combines people with different styles of facilitating, and personalities. These have contributed to enriching the trainings in many many ways such that to date, I have learnt new things and have always emerged a better trainer at the end. So I always appreciate the work and effort that goes into training team selection. I was really blessed to be with Janine, Efraim, Nonceba, Mpho, Aneleh and led by Anna. 

The new training manual is improved and more user friendly, topics are well sequenced and therefore competence is knitted in more naturally. While it’s still a work in progress, I appreciate the outcome we already have with us. The size too is amazing, and the resource toolkit too! 

Meeting new participants is always of particular interest to me, and while almost all of them had been previously trained, I met them for the first time. I was greatly encouraged by the excitement they had, and the fact that they really did not treat this as a second time in training. They ‘drank up’ sessions as if it was for the first time. Many of them shared how they too appreciated this second round of training as it felt there was a lot they had to grasp and digest the first time. But now they could let it sink in. I heard of practical work that many of them were already involved in after their first training. I saw in a different way how true it is that ‘with whatever we have’, when we take it to God, and give it to Him to use, He is faithful and the outcome is always mind blowing. 

The training was attended by 30 participants who were all from Gauteng province in South Africa. The majority of the participants (27) were trained in 2014 and 2015 and this offered them a fresh change to improve their understanding of the programme. 

Here was a group of people excited and ready to go and work for the kingdom of God. This was a very special experience that I learnt from and thoroughly enjoyed; one that clearly reminds us of the needs that exist and that the journey is still long therefore every hand, foot and heart will make a huge difference wherever the Lord plants it. 

The ‘Express Training’ was really  express. Before we knew it, the week was over, and it was time to go back home. We all returned home having been challenged in new and different ways, and sharpened too! It was an awesome time.

 

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A Participant`s Perspective. 15/09/2015

Written by Prudence Bhebhe

August 2015


The Churches Channels of Hope express training was an epic and new phenomenon to me. The whole experience was more of a learning board for me and my other fellow participants. I learned a cocktail of new things about HIV and related issues which helped me in understanding and appreciation of the HIV infected world we now live in. Our trainers were very energetic and viable and made sure that we had a grasp of everything they were dishing out. They were very time cautious, understanding and made sure that no stone was left unturned. 

We engaged in activities such as the “HIV and the immune system”. The whole objective of this activity was for us to learn and understand the relationship between the body, the immune system and the HI Virus. The other important thing I really enjoyed about the whole training is the fact that I got to meet new faces with different perspectives coming from different organizations who were as much hungry, determined and eager to learn as I was. We were given the opportunities to interact with other participants through the facilitation training session which greatly helped me in boosting my self-confidence. 

The whole training was truly a game changer as it challenged our attitudes towards HIV and AIDS and how we can best become effective and reliable channels of Hope in a world with HIV and AIDS. 

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A Facilitator's Change of Attitude

 Written by Nonceba Ravuku, training team member.

I have been to the CCoH trainings many times and had contact with many potential facilitators from different backgrounds and yes different denominations. A lot of them are skeptical or rather staunch in their beliefs.

I met one facilitator who is a pastor and a respected community leader in one of the trainings, who was quiet rigid in his opinions and understandings of sexual behaviors, he never wanted to admit that there are Christians who have certain interests when it comes to sexual activities and he never even believed that Christians discussed anything related to sex. I was also not surprised when he didn’t want to participate in any activities or discussions on sex or sexual behaviors.

I was always worried about how will he be able to facilitate workshops in his church or community especially because he was keen to go back to his community and start running workshops.

I thanked God when he was interested to attend the CCoH Express training. I was eagerly and impatiently waiting to see if there was any change of attitude from the previous training. During some of the activities I started noticing that there was a big change. I noticed how he challenged specifically members of another church who were from his community, I noticed how he was participating more in group discussions and how asked more questions. Not only was he participating in small groups but he was also making valid input during big group discussions and asking relevant questions. 

When I had an opportunity to speak to him one on one he shared that his spirit was challenged when he got home and he had to have a change in his attitude. He said he needed more exposure and that he is going to be more involved. 

My spirit is happy.

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CCoH Training Abundant Life Lodge, Kabulonga, Zambia – Apr 2015

From 29th April to 6th May 2015, CABSA together with EMPACT Africa facilitated a Churches Channels of Hope Facilitator’s Training Program at Abundant Life Lodge, Kabulonga, Lusaka, Zambia.

The purpose of this program is to equip participants with the appropriate attitudes, knowledge and skills to be channels of hope and to assist faith communities in their journeys towards HIV competence. The Churches, Channels of Hope programme also offers tools to help churches and communities respond to the needs created by HIV and AIDS.

There were twenty one participants on this training course, who came from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Ten females and eleven males. There was a healthy blend of participants across denominational lines. This affected the group dynamics positively and also engendered respect for each other’s views.  Most participants are either pastors or Church leaders of the Presbyterian Church or the Roman Catholic Church from Zambia and Zimbabwe so expectedly there were strong and extensive views expressed on moral/religious issues especially at the beginning.  This made for interesting debate and an opportunity to learn from each other’s views.

Regarding the content of the training, participants had the following to say:  Good content and good stewards of time”, “The information gave us a lot of extras on what we knew. Practical, close to real life situations”, “The content was complete – go make me do the work.”

One of the highlights for the participants were how statistics were brought to reality from mere figures and numbers:  “Bringing the statistics closer to home.  Umm it really touched my heart, made all clear to me that I have work to do back home.  My heart is burning right now to deliver.”

Participants were confident that they would be able to use the knowledge, skills and awareness that they have gained in their communities which indicates that the training achieved the outcomes of strengthening skills, knowledge and attitudes of HIV and AIDS.

This successful training programme was facilitated by a team of six trainers under the skillful leadership of Tunde Fowe from Nigeria. We are grateful for their hard work and sacrifice during this week.

We wish all participants well with their future endeavours as they respond as Channels of Hope to the stigma of HIV within their different countries, and communities.

 

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Zandspruit Churches Channels of Hope Facilitator Training June 2014