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.”