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Pastor Godson Lawson Kpavuvu: “God heals, but people must also be treated”

Pastor Godson Lawson Kpavuvu, president of the Methodist Church of Togo, is also chair of the International Reference Group of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme (WCC-EHAIA). Involved with WCC-EHAIA from the beginning, he reflects below on what its like to be, as he describes, one of the veterans of the struggle.”

At Effata school in Togo, students transform attitudes about gender-based violence

Through four years of collaboration with the Effata Secular School in Togo, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme has introduced students and teachers to Thursdays in Black, towards a world without rape and violence, helped them better respond to HIV, and offered a safe space to discuss responsible sexual and reproductive health.

Thursdays in Black is growing in Namibia

The Thursdays in Black campaign for a world free from rape and violence has been intensified in Namibia, bringing awareness of the heightened risk of violence against women and children during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Moravian Church in Tanzania launches Thursdays in Black

Moravian women pastors and evangelists have said: “Enough is enough: no more rape and violence against women." Women leaders of the church marched in the streets of Mbeya town in Tanzania wearing black on Thursday to officially launch the Thursdays in Black global campaign to stand against rape and violence.

“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.

In Nigeria, Thursdays in Black is flourishing

Rev. Ikechukwu Anaga remembers when people didn’t know about “Thursdays in Black,” the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. But his community of Aba, in Abia State, Nigeria, was seeing firsthand an increase in gender-based violence and rape. When Anaga helped others in his community make a firm decision to do something about it, the zeal and passion for Thursdays in Black rose.

Nigeria gathering inspires courage among women with disabilities

“Before being identified as a person with disability, you are a woman with the same rights,” said Hellen Anurika Udoye Beyioku-Alase, a young woman with a disability. She was among some 70 women who gathered at the Swiss International Hotel in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 22-23 June around the theme “Women with Disabilities, Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV.”

Youth engagement fundamental to HIV response

In the West African countries of Togo and Benin, adolescents and young people are confronted by various obstacles in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Organized by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy West Africa regional office in Lomé, Togo, a workshop for 25 adolescents and young people from Benin and Togo helped participants make safe, responsible choices that prevent HIV infection.

Tragic loss in Kenya shows all must act against gender-based violence

On 12 March, Jane Murenga, a head teacher at a local Anglican Church-sponsored primary school, was raped and murdered in Githure village, Kirinyaga County in Kenya. She was hosting her younger sister at her home. She left the main house to take a shower in the bathroom which is detached from the house. Her sister decided to check on her, only to find her on the ground lifeless with a man on top of her, raping her.

Star power shines light on AIDS epidemic

Prince Harry, Elton John, Charlize Theron, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Bill Gates – royalty, celebrities, religious leaders and philanthropists joined scientists, politicians, health workers, and activists – all of whom include people of faith – at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban. At a time when “AIDS fatigue” deepens, affecting funding, awareness and capacity to respond, the stars help to put a media spotlight on the many challenges and injustices that remain.