World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / What we do / Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA)

Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA)

This project reinforces the capacity of African churches to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, provide care and counselling, eliminate stigma and discrimination.

Churches in Africa, rooted in communities, are influential institutions which can be a force for transformation - bringing healing, hope and accompaniment to all people affected by HIV.

EHAIA was launched in 2002 to enable churches in Africa to access information, training, resources and make contact with other churches and bodies working in the same field to help them deal with AIDS in their communities.

Initially an "ecumenical initiative", EHAIA reached about 9000 participants during its first four years. Reports from its meetings tell moving stories of insights gained and how churches and individuals changed in their attitude to sero-positive persons.

The project now brings an ecumenical dimension to the churches' care, education and counselling programmes. It strives to assist churches and related organizations to achieve professional levels of efficiency, coordination, capacity-building and communication in all HIV-related activities.

A project leader and assistant based at the WCC in Geneva, five regional offices and regional consultants, and two theological consultants staff the project, with guidance from an international and regional reference groups and in collaboration with the All Africa Conference of Churches, sub-regional church fellowships, national councils of churches and associations of people living with HIV.

EHAIA conducts workshops and training programmes; responds to individual requests for advice from churches on HIV church policy development, pastoral training or project planning support; and distributes information and resource materials in the regions and via a website and electronic newsletter.



A series of videos filmed by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance in cooperation with the World YWCA and EHAIA.

Related News

Churches have a special role to play in HIV response

Churches have a special role to play in HIV response

In Africa, where up to 40 percent of the health care facilities are provided by faith based organizations, Dr Mirfin Mpundu, executive director of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network, says that due to their unique position churches can play a special role in eliminating HIV and AIDS and bringing improvements in the lives of people living with the virus.

Dealing as a church with HIV

Dealing as a church with HIV

“HIV and AIDS is not just a public health issue. It is a multi-layered social issue – an issue churches in West Africa should not ignore,” says Rev. Godson Lawson, a pastor in the Methodist Church in Togo, a country where 110,000 people are living with HIV and 6,600 lives have been lost to the pandemic, according to recent UNAIDS estimates.

Christian responses on health and healing

Christian responses on health and healing

Churches must commit themselves to create “healing and reconciling ministry that puts people at the centre and allow for a wholistic approach in health care”, states a declaration issued during an international symposium on “Christian Responses to Global Health and Development” in Tübingen, Germany.