The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), a regional coordinating body, joined the rest of the World to mark World AIDS Day with her Ecumenical and development partners.
The event was organized by CAPA regional partners namely: Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA), Christian Aid Africa Office (CA), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and the UN Millennium Development Campaign, Africa office. The event took place at the All African Conference of Churches building at Westland, Waiyaki Way, Nairobi in Kenya.
The event was in two parts:
Firstly, a church service was held on 27th November 2007 at the AACC chapel, which attracted different partners and friends. During the service the CAPA HIV/AIDS Chairman, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi delivered the sermon. In his sermon, he clearly stated that we are all infected or affected, and he lamented on the impact of the AIDS pandemic in African homes, Churches and communities as enormous and has affected even the Church.
He further condemned all acts of stigma and discrimination directed to people living with HIV/AIDS. He challenged donors and implementing partners to ensure that resources meant for addressing the pandemic are appropriately utilized and channelled through the right authority.
In a painful note, he epitomized some challenges faced by people living with HIV/AIDS, to include inadequate ARVs, nutrition, counselling and care. And those resources appropriated for the management of people who are infected with the virus are occasionally diversified for other use, like paying huge salaries to the staff, thereby leaving PLWHA and PABA with severe socio-economic effect of AIDS, in his word ‘shame on us all’ who are engaged in such unkind behaviour.
He also condemned the indiscriminate distribution of condoms in communities, as this may not help in containing the pandemic. Families, community, churches and the government should seek to improve and address issues of behavioural change and morality. He however admitted that condom should be prescribed and used by discordant couples, partners who are both infected and for child spacing within the context of marriage only.
Archbishop Nzimbi agreed that youth and others at risk group should be given adequate and correct education on HIV/AIDS as way of empowering and preventing them from contracting the infection.
Archbishop Nzimbi challenged communities and Churches to develop programmes that are self sustaining, reduce poverty and improve the health of women and children. He concluded his message with John 3:16 by challenging all to show a compassionate and caring environment to their fellow brethren who are living with HIV and AIDS.
He was supported by other key speakers at the services, among them the General Secretary of the AACC and heads of regional CAPA partners.
A covenant document on HIV/AIDS developed by AACC was handed over to him to ensure it is preached in all churches of Africa. There are ten covenant areas that were articulated, their headings are: Life and HIV/AIDS Prevention; Love and HIV/AIDS Care; Treatment and HIV/AIDS Drugs; Compassion, HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination; Poverty and HIV/AIDS; Gender Inequalities; Children and HIV/AIDS; Church, PLWAs and HIV/AIDS; Human Sexuality and HIV/AIDS; Justice and HIV/AIDS.
At the end of the service, the CAPA HIV/AIDS board Chairman led the intercessory prayers sessions.
Secondly, a marching event was held around the AACC building in solidarity for people living and affected by AIDS and to educate the community of the dangers of HIV/AIDS and stigma and discrimination.
The march highlighted the importance of VCT and PMTCT. Leaflets, poster and red ribbon were distributed. All the aforementioned organization and their implementing partners participated in the one hour rally.
Two CAPA staff actively participated in the two events; they are the HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator, Mr Emmanuel Olatunji and Mrs. Elizabeth Gichovi, Ag. Communication officer represented CAPA actively in the two activities that marked the World AIDS Day event
At Provincial levels, there are a number of activities that will take place in form of prevention education, mobile VCT staging, Church services, Stigma reduction education and care and support activities for OVC, PLWHA and PABA. Material that will guide the provinces for their respective HIV/AIDS activities have been given to them. Detailed reports of such activities will be made available on the website.
Details of the order of service used can be found at this link:
Article from: The CAPA Provincial News Site