World AIDS Day and 16 Days Activities 04/02/2013
Report on CABSA’s additional Activity in the Gender and HIV Mainstreaming Project.
CABSA’s (the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa) additional proposal to the Gender and HIV Mainstreaming project focused on “Integrating Gender and Gender Based Violence in World AIDS Day Programmes”.
The project involved a number of activities around World AIDS Day which CABSA organised or took part in. As the events and celebrations fall within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Abuse of Women and children, this was seen as an ideal opportunity to create awareness and make faith communities more aware of GBV and the role faith communities can lay in addressing the issue.
This was done by highlighting gender and gender based violence and its intersection with HIV in all WAD activities, designing and printing posters specifically for the campaign, developing worship resources around the theme, and distributing resources from partner organisation PACSA and Thursdays in Black Badges from Diakonia Council of Churches.
Although the lead times and deadlines for the project was extremely tight, the project can be seen as very successful in meeting the objectives.
The focus created will however not end with the ending of the project timeframe:
- Materials remain available on the CABSA website, which averages more than 10 000 web visits per month.
- Posters will continue to be displayed in CABSA offices and the offices of many other organisations and faith communities.
- Any posters, pamphlets or resources left at the end of the project period, will still be distributed at the many faith based events of which CABSA is part.
This is a short summary of the events that were included in the project. Additional information about any of the events is available on request.
1. A complete liturgy, sermon guidelines and Sermon material and worship resources which focused specifically on World AIDS Day were developed and distributed in November. A wide selection of resources, video’s and guidelines from other organisations were also highlighted on the website. These worship resources were sent out to more than 730 regular subscribers to the CABSA Bible Message. It was also placed on the website in three languages (English, Afrikaans and Xhosa) and highlighted on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. CABSA is aware that the resources were further distributed by “Christians Concerned for One World” (CCOW), a group of Anglican Churches in the UK, Churches Together in Oxfordshire, the Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa, and reposted on websites such as EAA, Commitment for Life (the United Reformed Church's international social justice programme) and the World Development Advisers website for the Church of England. It was also highlighted in the email newsletters of the MICAH Network and SIM Hope for AIDS and various regional synods of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa
2. During the month of November and early December, 7 interviews with Lyn were broadcast on East Rand Stereo, a community radio station with 60 000 listeners, as part of their HIV awareness month. Four of these 10-15 interviews were in English, and three in Afrikaans. More than 20 short items were broadcast throughout the month under the heading “HIV fact of the Day”. The interaction between HIV, gender and GBV was highlighted on many occasions.
3. On 20 November Aneleh facilitated a workshop on preaching on HIV for clergy at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Cape Town. The event formed part of a collaborative World AIDS Day initiative between churches in the city of Cape Town and Christian NGOs. It was attended by 14 people from 7 different denominations. “HIV Competent Faith Communities” was the underlying theme to encourage clergy to seize the awareness opportunity offered by World AIDS Day, but also to think beyond only once-off World AIDS Day events. A wide selection of HIV resources, including the PACSA Gender Violence and HIV books were distributed. Feedback was very positive.
A few photos:
4. On 22 November Aneleh did a presentation at a Symposium for Faith leaders in Worcester. The event was hosted by YWAM and organised and funded by the Department of Health district office. The topic of the presentation was again “HIV Competent Faith Communities” and also included aspects of gender relationships, violence against women and the responsibility of the church to restore and uphold the dignity and worth of every human being. More than 60 people attended, many clergy and others as direct representatives of their faith leaders. The response of the group was absolutely amazing, as if they were hungry for this truth. The programme was adjusted by the organisers to give more time for participants to respond and engage and many individuals engaged in discussions with Aneleh after the session. Folders containing a wide selection of HIV resources and the 3 PACSA booklets were distributed to all 60 participants.
5. On 22 November, Meloney sent 50 copies of a selection of HIV materials a Dutch Reformed Church in Hartenbos on their request. The material was aimed at facilitating discussion on HIV during a church service.
6. On 22 November, Jerry attended the launch of the 16 Days report for 2012 with the theme “Peace in our Churches to Peace in our Families & Communities” It was organized by the Western Cape Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in collaboration and partnership with the Mothers Union (MU) under the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It was attended by about 30 participants. Although the gender resources were not received in time to distribute at this event an attendance list has been requested from the organisers and a set of gender resources will be mailed to each participant.
7. Rev Nelis Du Toit collected 100 HIV related pamphlets for a URCSA church service on 25 November which focused on HIV.
8. Sermon material and worship resources were developed focusing specifically on the 16 Day Campaign. This, together with links to the posters developed for the campaign, was sent out to 730 subscribers, placed on the website and highlighted on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The materials were widely distributed by various partner and network organisations such as Dr. Sue Parry, Southern African Co-ordinator of EHAIA. This can be accessed at http://www.cabsa.org.za/content/worship-resources-16-days-activism-no-violence-against-women-and-children.
9. On 25 November an interview with Lyn was broadcast on “Sondag Aktueel”, an early morning programme on RSG, an Afrikaans radio station. The focus was on World AIDS Day and particular emphasis was placed on Thursdays in Black and the role of GBV in HIV.
10. On 26 November Lyn was a speaker at a workshop on HIV & AIDS and Wellness for 18 participants. She focused on “Holistic prevention from ABC to A Comprehensive Multifaceted model”. The role of gender roles and gender based violence in HIV prevention was discussed, the Thursdays in Black campaign was highlighted and the posters were displayed. Feedback was positive.
11. On 27 November, Aneleh chaired an HIV focused meeting in the municipal sub-district of Drakenstein. This meeting was organised by the Drakenstein Health and Wellness Forum that consists of different task teams. Aneleh is the chairperson of the HIV, AIDS and TB task team (also known as MSAT – Multi-sectorial Action team). Two speakers, one a medical doctor specialising in HIV and the other an HIV positive person participated. CABSA distributed resources, including gender and gender based violence material from PACSA. This material was introduced as part of an appeal for participants to also focus on the 16 Days of Activism against Violence against women and children. Though only 23 people attended, a total of 50 packs were taken – again indicating a real need for solid information regarding HIV and gender. Responses were very positive, specifically to the message of the person living with HIV.
12. On 28 November, CABSA’s Wellington staff presented a short HIV programme at a local primary school, St Albans. Age appropriate HIV related pamphlets of the Christian Literature Fund and AIDS ribbons were distributed to 1387 children. The principle, Mr. Bailey, welcomed CABSA’s involvement and expressed the wish that we would be in contact again. Additionally, 50 information packs that included HIV and gender resources were prepared for each of the staff members.
13. On 29 November, CABSA and the Centre for Christian Spirituality co-hosted a panel discussion with HIV positive people sharing on the theme “Positive Spirituality – how my HIV status impacted on my faith and relationship with God”. This meeting was hosted by the Garden’s Presbyterian Church in Cape Town and was attended by 11 people. At this event CABSA distributed TiB pins and HIV and gender material, and made an announcement on the Thursdays in Black campaign.
Rev. Natalie van Rooyen from St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church gave the following feedback on the event: “This was a very meaningful evening for me and the sharing from the 2 very precious people who came from so far was amazing. I will not forget this evening ever. It moved me deeply.”
14. On 30 November, CABSA hosted an intimate WAD event in the Ferguson Building, where our Wellington office is based. Invitations were sent to staff members of Bible Media, Huguenot College and local pastors. It was attended by 22 people. At this meeting Patty Thomas shared her testimony about the lessons she has learned in her journey with HIV and about the new dreams she is dreaming. The CABSA gender posters were introduced and Thursdays in Black was promoted. HIV and gender material, posters, ribbons and pins were distributed.
15. On 30 November, Meloney dropped 50 copies of HIV pamphlets at the St George’s Presbyterian Church in Wellington for use during their church service on Sunday, 2nd December. Aneleh also assisted Rev Set Buttle with material and testimonies to be used during the church service.
16. On 30 November, Aneleh was interviewed by a local radio station, Radio KC based in Paarl which has a daily listener count of 83 000. The 15 minute interview touched on the need for organisations to work together, the Drakenstein Health and Wellness Forum, World AIDS Day events and specifically addressed the issue of healthy and life giving, life affirming relationships.
17. On 30 November, CABSA was co-responsible for the first joint World AIDS Day initiative in Paarl, called Petals of Hope on the banks of the Berg River. Despite a very strong South Easterly wind, about 100 people attended the event. This included members of various organisations in the Drakenstein Health district, staff of the Electoral commission, Drakenstein Hospice, Anova and peer educators of Koinonia. The guest speakers include the mayoral spokesperson, Dr Noel Adams, Patty Brooks – living openly with HIV and Pastor Jacko Pedro. The wind made it impossible to distribute any material, but the 200 plus red balloons and enormous AIDS ribbons made it quite a visual experience. Flowers were dropped into the Berg River to honour the memories of people who died of AIDS, but also in solidarity with those who live with HIV and work in the field.
18. On 1 December CABSA participated in the WAD events in Cape Town, a collaborative church initiative between churches in the city of Cape Town and Christian NGOs. The event included a candle lightning ceremony, a drama, VCT, exhibitions and distribution of material and an ecumenical church service. CABSA distributed hundreds of pamphlets, especially with a gender focus. Gender posters and TiB pins were also distributed. With different activities happening at different venues it is difficult to determine how many people participated in total. The ecumenical service at the end of programme was attended by about 150 people. More photos are available at https://picasaweb.google.com/104581640766239311257/ScrapbookPhotos
19. On 1 December, CABSA had an exhibition table at the finals of the “School’s got Talent”, music awards in Wellington. Posters were on display and HIV and gender material was available. Three hundred people attended the event and 60 TiB buttons and a variety of HIV and gender materials were distributed.
20. On 2 December, Lyn took part in a special church service of the “South African Police Service Gauteng: Department Employee Health and Wellness” which focused on HIV and gender based violence. More than 700 participants from the police and local communities attended. Lyn focused on CABSA’s “Guiding Principles” and faith communities’ involvement in issues of health, sexuality and gender based violence. Large amounts of Gender Resources and Thursdays in Black Badges were distributed.
21. On 2 December, Fontainebleau Community Church focused on gender based violence. CABSA provided guidance, posters and resources. Thursdays in Black was a particular focus.
22. On 2 December, Aneleh addressed her own Helderberg congregation in two services, reaching about 800 people with short “liturgy of Hope” as an introduction. Posters were displayed around the church and HIV resources were made available after the services. An article on TiB campaign will be prepared early in January for the church newspaper and website.
23. On 5 December, Aneleh lead a WAD prayer meeting at the Dutch Reformed Church office in Bellville. The message focused on the fact that men and women were created in the image of God and CABSA’s guiding principle to honour, restore and uphold the dignity and worth of every human being was emphasized. It was attended by about 20 people, each received a selection of HIV and Gender pamphlets, Gender posters and TiB pins were also available and 24 people took TiB pins.
At the end of this week a summary of Aneleh’s message was included in a weekly group email that was distributed to hundreds of DRC leaders and members in this province.
24. Gender posters were distributed to the local World Vision ADP in the Western Cape and the INERELA+ office in Randburg.
25. In February all the gender and TiB material will also be shared with the joint DRC and URCSA HIV task group in the Western Cape.
26. Discussions with congregations and faith based organisations continue, and posters, resources and badges will continue to be distributed were appropriate.
CABSA was privileged to be part of this project and would like to thank the donors and project partners, PACSA and Diakonia Council of Churches, for the opportunity. We would also like to thank the organisers, facilitators and partners of all these events for their co-operation.
We believe that this short project opened the eyes of many people of faith to the issues of gender inequality; gender based violence and the intersection of these issues with HIV, and assisted in bringing reconciliation and hope in a world with HIV and Gender Based Violence.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.