HIV and AIDS Project: ELCT National Church Response
In May 2002
the Lutheran World Federation launched a campaign on HIV and AIDS aimed
at accompanying (LWF) member churches in their response. The campaign
main goal was to break the silence.
It is in that perspective
that led ELCT to respond to the pandemic. It is from this truth the church
invested much of its efforts by imparting knowledge to church leaders.
A workshop conducted in a parish by pastors who have been trained
Women attending a seminar
One of the HIV Seminars organized for men
NON CLINICAL INTERVENTION
Initiative on HIV and AIDS is a non clinical intervention adopted by ELCT
to complement a clinical intervention that is already in place. ELCT recognized
that the current approach on fighting HIV and AIDS as a health problem
does not offer holistic and comprehensive response to the pandemic. This
project officially started in year 2009.
The broad objective
of this process is to see clinical and non-clinical initiatives undertaken
and well coordinated in addressing HIV and AIDS pandemic for a better
The main goal of the
project is to equip church leaders with skills and knowledge for their
work and ministry in context of HIV pandemic.
pastors and evangelists have been proved to be very effective in providing
trainings in their areas.
There is clear evidence
that the programme has impacted the life of project beneficiaries. The
programme has also set a process in motion that will have long term benefit
on the target group that benefitted from the interventions.
The programme has
opened up the communication on HIV and AIDS related topics between youth
and their parents or guardians, between different groups and between different
gender groups. This is a major change at congregations, parishes, church
districts, dioceses, community and household level.
We are delighted to
see that to a great extent the magnitude of discrimination has gone down
as a result of imparting necessary knowledge to church leaders. Discriminatory
sermons are not common as it used to be. This is counted a big step forward.
The project has encouraged
trained pastors to undertake resource mobilization at community level
for sustainability of the programme.
Though the training
has been proved to be effective More needs to be done:
there is a big number of grown generations of people born with HIV. It
is the role of the church to know where we are taking them.
needs to be a very large project. Married couple has diverse experiences
to share, especially in a nation where 58% of the entire HIV infected
population is married couples.
CULTURE AND HEALTH
also needs to invest on culture by addressing the harmful practices by
working with men and boys to change norms related to fatherhood. Social
and cultural practices largely impede the strategy against HIV and AIDS.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage; women inheritance, polygamy
and circumcision using the same knife have continued to be practiced.
It is well
known that, women are more vulnerable than men. Women are potential and
the impact that they are able to make if empowered. They can save their
own lives, they can serve their husbands, and they can serve their families.
Women spend considerable time with their kids in nurturing process. From
an early age, boys may be socialized into gender roles designed to keep
men in power and control. Men grow up believing that dominant behavior
towards girls and women is part of being a man.
HIV Prevention Coordinator, ELCT
information please contact us via:
763 061 664
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Box 3033, ARUSHA, Tanzania.
E-mail: Elizabeth Lobulu <ELobulu@elct.or.tz>