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“Gathering in Grief” mourns Rev. Phumzile Mabizela

More than 140 people met online in a spontaneous Gathering in Grief” to mourn Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, who passed away the morning of on 5 July. Mabizela was the executive director of INERELA+ (the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV), co-moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance HIV Campaign Strategy Group and a member of the International Reference Group of WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy.

WCC commemorates World AIDS Day with focus on making a difference, community by community

For World AIDS Day 2019, the World Council of Churches (WCC) embraces the theme "Communities make the difference." World AIDS Day is being commemorated in the context of 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence, an annual international campaign that began on 25 November and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The WCC also helps bring about grassroots awareness and change through the Thursdays in Black campaign for a world free from rape and violence.

Young people in Togo: “Hear our voice! We want to tell our stories!”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme sponsored an intergenerational workshop on HIV, masculinities, femininities and sexual reproductive health education for 35 adolescents, young people, theologians, and religious leaders from 28-30 October at the Village du Benin, University of Lomé, Togo.

“Ambassadors of change” address gender justice at Uganda university

As Makerere University in Uganda admitted new undergraduate students in August, trained “ambassadors of change" were able to speak about preventing sexual and gender-based violence and HIV transmission. The ambassadors were trained though workshops offered by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme.

Anglican university students address violence, promote HIV testing in village schools

Students at Makerere University in Uganda have launched an evangelical and health mission in Kayunga, one of the rural villages in Mityana district located about 50 km from Kampala, Uganda.
The initiative follows the October 2018 launch of the Thursdays in Black Campaign against sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda by the Anglican community of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University.

WCC helps religious leaders relate better to adolescents

Religious leaders are learning to communicate better with adolescents about sexuality and other issues young people face, said participants at a training workshop using materials developed by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme.

Knowledge of gender roles deepens in Togo

Pastors, supervisors, teachers, counselors, chaplains and youth from primary schools, universities, theological institutions, and churches met from 23-24 May at the Theresia Residency in Togo to reflect and deepen their knowledge on masculinities, femininities and HIV.

WCC statement “Keeping the faith for an end to AIDS”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee released a statement expressing unfaltering commitment to ending HIV and AIDS. “The HIV epidemic has been like no other,” the statement reads. "Over four decades, AIDS has caused tens of millions of deaths, devastated families and communities, and challenged scientists and doctors seeking an effective vaccine or cure.”

A faith-based, holistic approach to HIV and AIDS-care

In a country now counting 100 million inhabitants, and where 2.5 percent are added annually, it is increasingly hard for the government to keep pace with the needs of its people. “In this challenging environment, the work of non-governmental organisations is critical in order to ease the burden on public service institutions”, explains Dr Maged Moussa Yanny, general director of EpiscoCare.

Faith and HIV treatment go hand in hand

For HIV-infected people in Nairobi, the Eastern Deanery Aids Relief Program makes a difference. By providing a quarter of the antiretroviral therapy care, it helps around 26,000 HIV-infected people in the Kenyan capital to live normal lives.

Turning mercy and compassion into action

Ten years ago, while studying to become a nurse, Khadijah Abdullah was confronted at a hospital with a rather difficult patient, a Muslim living with AIDS who was also coping with several other medical issues. When Abdullah realized how isolated and stigmatized this patient was in his own faith community, she became aware of her prejudices and ignorance and she decided to do something about it.