"As late as the 1988 Lambeth Conference, bishops from Africa were denying that there was a disease called AIDS". The situation has changed now and the Cape Town joint meeting passed a resolution "that calls for a universal response to AIDS". Several African churches, including those of Uganda and Tanzania have developed AIDS education and prevention programs.
A short article, with photo of John Clark, one of the co-editors, announcing that the "official report of MISSIO, the Mission Commission of the world-wide Anglican Communion is now available from the Anglican Communion Office or your local bookshop". Includes brief synopsis of contents.
Archbishop Ndungane was commissioned at the recent Primates' Meeting to facilitate a workshop on AIDS "in order that a strategic plan for sub-Saharan Africa may be developed". The Primates Meeting resolved "that the church's first priority is to adopt a holistic and effective approach to HIV/AIDS". This statement announces that the workshop will take place in Gauteng, South Africa, 13-16 August 2001 and outlines the eight objectives in developing an integrated strategic plan.
The author describes the actions of Anglicans in Africa to break the silence surrounding AIDS. In August 2001 the All African Anglican AIDS Workshop met in South Africa. The Conference of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has endorsed the Action Plan from the Workshop and announced plans to hire a Coordinator to work within CAPA on "AIDS-related programmes by pursuing strategic planning, collaborative partnerships and the implementation of responses to develop the capacity of the Provinces". Provinces are urged to remember those who have died from AIDS on November 2nd, All Saints Day. A Conference for Church Leaders, living with HIV/AIDS is planned for Zimbabwe in 17-25 November 2001, led by the Rev. Gideon Byamugisha, from Uganda, who is himself living with AIDS. The secular world, increasingly hosted by churches and other religious institutions observes World AIDS Day on 1 December.
Twenty-two members of the Commission from every corner of the Anglican Communion gathered at the Kempton Park Conference Centre in South Africa for the first meeting of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Even. The group heard presentations about the reality of AIDS in South Africa and heard that "last year 250,000 South Africans died from AIDS. This number will double in six years". The group published a document entitled "A Call" and invited all dioceses, parishes and local churches, to consider the document and send their responses to the Mission Department of the Anglican Communion Office. [Full text of document reproduced here.]
Also includes an "HIV/AIDS -Factfile" and brief reports from USPG supported health projects in Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.
The author, Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, reflects on the recent AIDS 2002 Conference in Barcelona Spain. "The key challenges are to change behavioural patterns and to eradicate the stigma that makes it so difficult for people to seek the help they need. Above all we dare not lose hope. We cannot allow ourselves to be paralysed by despair". After reviewing governmental and NGO actions and strategies, he goes on to say: "I offer a committed strategic `Partnership for Life' on behalf of the more that 70 million Anglicans worldwide, who have commissioned me to drive a programme that is working towards a `Generation without AIDS'. We do not have huge amounts of money but we do reach deep into every community. We are often located where there is no Post Office or electricity and we acknowledge our own responsibility in the AIDS arena. I extend my hand and heart to government in this partnership. The leaders of this nation must collaborate, and speak as one, and together build on the dreams and hopes for our people. We must eliminate the fear fuelled by misinformation and dithering about response and responsibility. We must unite in a stand for hope".
"We, the Anglican Communion across Africa, pledge ourselves to promise that future generations will be born and live free from AIDS". "Over 35 leaders, among them Provincial Secretaries and AIDS Co-ordinators from all the 12 African Provinces and the Diocese of Egypt, attended the weeklong workshop at the Ankrah Foundation in Mukono [from 26 January to 1 February 2003]."
BBC reporter Siobhann Tighe interviewed the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town, about the Anglican Church's fight against HIV and AIDS in the African continent. In his comments, Archbishop Ndungane also discusses the importance of Ubuntu. "We've got to rediscover human values. After all Africans have a high doctrine of humanity. The whole philosophy of being human is couched in that wonderful African concept of UBUNTU: I am because we belong together."
"On Dec. 1 , World AIDS Day, the PWRDF [Primate's World Relief and Development Fund] committed itself to deepening its engagement in the struggle against HIV and AIDS through the launch of a new integrated initiative called `Partnership for Life ... for a generation without AIDS'. Through this initiative, PWRDF will be testifying to the truth about HIV/AIDS in our communities and throughout our world. We hope that you will work with PWRDF to open the hearts and minds of congregations in communities across Canada to involve them in a process of education, prayer, reflection, social action, and generous support of PWRDF funded programs challenging the spread of HIV/AIDS in Canada yet mostly throughout eastern and southern Africa." Article describes the four major areas of work within the initiative and gives a number of statistics about AIDS e.g. "In the past year, an estimated three million people have died of AIDS (the population of Toronto)". Author is the Director of the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.
The theme of the next (13th) meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council to be held in Nottingham, England, in 2005 will be "Living Communion". The author experienced that communion in a recent visit to Swaziland where a delegation visited St. Margaret of Scotland parish. The Rev. Ooma Marumbela, one of the first two women deacons in Swaziland, runs a centre for orphaned children whose parents have usually died of complications of HIV and AIDS. "Swaziland has the highest HIV and AIDS infection rate in the world. The country faces many challenges with its government, with gender issues and the devastating impact of poverty".
See also article "Prayers for Swaziland .." on pp. 4-5 of this issue.
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Trinitytide 2004. An editorial and series of short reports from different agencies and countries assessing and looking back on "changes to family life over the decade" since the 1994 launch conference of the International Year of the Family in Malta. "The articles tell of the increasing number of single parent families and of projects to help them. Another development is the changing role of parents. In Africa, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as in Western countries, some men are becoming more involved with the care of their children and more women are becoming breadwinners -- modifying the traditional demarcation of roles. The global nature of change is again highlighted in the article from Myanmar/Burma, which notes the pressures of modern technology on children, with videos and Superman replacing the transmission of values through storytelling. In Papua New Guinea, the influence of cultural change has resulted in improvements in education and literacy but also noted is an increase in violence within the family. In some countries, changes affecting families reflect the aftermath of civil violence. An article tells of the signs of hope in Rwanda, despite the horrors of the genocide. .... In Northern Ireland, too, there are signs of optimism despite the bitter legacy of the troubles. A major theme underlying many of the changes is the spread of HIV/AIDS. This was raised at the initial IYF [International Year of the Family] conference, but the extent and consequences of the pandemic have vastly intensified during the ten years, bringing heartbreak and poverty to many. The death toll affects all generations of the family, with grandparents having to care for orphans and losing the support of their children in their old age." "The final section of the newsletter tells of action taken by Governments to help families. A point made by many at the Malta conference was that Governments needed to recognise the importance of families as the basic unit of society and do more to help them. It is clear that further Government action is needed, but articles tell of steps forward.
For 45 years, generous donors have allowed the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) "to reach out to people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and aboriginal communities in Canada in order to forge enduring partnerships with community groups, agencies, coalitions, all of us united to build a more just and equitable world". "PWRDF does not actually implement development projects; we leave that important work to the people who know best what their communities and countries need: our development partners". "PWRDF commits itself to raising sufficient funds to sustain the projects over time. Often specific projects are funded through a three-year funding agreement; sometimes partner relationships continue for 10 to 15 years. These long-term relations require long-term financial planning. Long-term relationships mean that PWRDF needs to have, over the long term, the financial stability to be able to transfer funds as needed on a regular basis throughout the life of the project". "Financial security is especially important when taking on such an important challenge as the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS." The author, Executive Director of PWRDF, describes the AIDS vigils held on 1 December 2004 (World AIDS Day) which were based on the experiences of the women on the Point of Light project in Etwatwa, South Africa. He also describes PWRDF's long term relationship with the Diocese of Kampala in the Church of the Province of Uganda, where the women of the Mothers' Union and diocesan development staff have established multiple programs to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and support those individuals and families affected by it.
"The theme of this year's International AIDS Conference was `Access for All'. Special attention was being given to the role of communities in combating the AIDS epidemic. A significant dimension of community response was found in the work of faith-based organizations and the growing forms of collaboration among them". Prior to the International AIDS Conference, "the Christians, Muslims and Buddhists organized separate pre-Conference meetings for their own communities. The Pre-Conference meetings focused on workshops, sharing and discussions in the light of their particular religious teachings, principles and experiences." "The presence and involvement of faith-based actors at this particular Conference was the largest and most active to date."
Author is Manager of St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre in Hong Kong.
"The clergy have not been spared by HIV and AIDS, the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Rev. Bernard Malango, stated earlier this year . Officiating at the Church's strategic planning workshop on HIV/AIDS under the theme `Generation Born Without AIDS', Archbishop Malango said the Church had not been spared by HIV as some clergy were dying from the disease".
The triennial Synod of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa met in Kwazulu Natal from 3-7 July 2005 and passed a number of important resolutions. It "voted to step up its programme of education of lay and ordained church leaders in order to break the HIV/AIDS stigma and develop effective responses to the disease at the parish level". Synod also voted to establish a gender task team and called on governments in southern Africa to "take responsibility for the provision of care to orphans and vulnerable children in their countries and to ensure that their rights are protected". As well, "Diocesan bishops will also be asked to create mechanisms in their dioceses whereby parishes are equipped to follow up on the health and welfare of babies in their churches and communities so that children at risk can be identified and protected from infant mortality, domestic violence and child abuse". The synod also debated the issue of homosexuality in the province and heard presentations from Bishop Peter Lee ("conservative" position) and Bishop David Russell ("liberal" position). "No resolution has been reached but Archbishop Ndungane said: `Our discussion and debate on this issue was of a high level of maturity and has broadened our thinking and understanding. The church will continue to listen to the voice of the people and engage on this issue'." In addition, a decision was made to change the official name of the province from Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA) to Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA). "`The name change will not come into effect immediately because it changes the constitution of the Anglican Church. It will only be finalised at the next session of the Provincial Synod in three years' time', said Archbishop Ndungane".
"Something is eluding us in the fight against AIDS. When travelling through southern and eastern Africa it is impossible to dodge the dour reality of how AIDS is annihilating the community life of village and neighbourhoods, once the cornerstone and strength of the African way of life". Young men and women who are exposed to the facts about HIV and AIDS from skilled educators are still becoming infected. The author visited and spoke with community workers in South Africa. She also visited SALAMA a PWRDF partner in Nampula, Mozambique, with very explicit education and awareness programs. "Program Coordinator Yolanda Napoleao was quite candid in saying information and knowledge is not enough, Stopping AIDS is about a personal journey that includes changing behaviour. Educators find it hard to know what triggers the change". In Nairobi, Kenya, the author visited Crisis Pregnancy Ministries of Kenya (CPMK), a small faith-based NGO which emphasizes abstinence. "Secular NGOs and governments are doing a great job as they focus on the technical aspects of the problem: treatment, use of condoms, protected sex, rights of women to negotiate safe sex, etc. But as many educators assert, it is behavioural change, specifically young men's behaviour, that will ultimately have a greater impact in the battle against AIDS. CPMK puts the onus on teens to change their behaviour. And an answer to what is eluding us in the fight against AIDS among youth might just be there. Given all the information and options, young teens might be better equipped to choose a life path that leads to change because they respect life and know that AIDS kills".
"This article is the first in a series". The author is "Development Program Coordinator: Africa, Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. She recently returned from a PWRDF partners visit to South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique."
"HIV kills proportionally more men, women and children who are poor. The overwhelming majority of people with HIV, some 95 per cent of the global total, live in the developing world." "But the dour reality of AIDS in Africa is that it is intrinsically linked to poverty and in Africa, women are the poorest of the poor. All statistics agree: women are the group most affected by AIDS in Africa ... As well as poverty, their vulnerability to HIV infection is related to biological differences, the sexual behaviour of their partners, the exercise of power, social attitudes, and pressures in a context where poverty has a feminine face." "An important facet of AIDS in Africa is that women and girls are the primary caregivers for those suffering from AIDS". "With the economic fabric of Sub-Saharan Africa rapidly disintegrating due to the impact of AIDS, people are pushed towards riskier behaviour. Young girls with neither skills nor education step into the roles of their sick or dying mothers and look for ways of providing for families for whom they have become the sole breadwinners. .... The situation forces them into precarious lifestyles, often involving the sex trade. In such a context, they have little ground to negotiate for safer sexual practices."
A three-day workshop was held at the Anglican Church of Kenya Guest House in Nairobi, Kenya, at the end of August 2006. Participants came from different parts of the CAPA [Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa] provinces and other bodies. "The five-year strategic place document on HIV/AIDS/TB/Malaria will enable CAPA to strengthen and scale up programmes within the Provinces. Most of the objectives of the initial five-year strategic plan document, titled 'Planning our response 2001', have been achieved." The new document reflects "the great need for a programmatic plan that will accommodate TB/Malaria in our intervention strategies".
Article describes a number of AIDS related outreach projects operated within the diocese of Toronto for local populations and overseas in Africa. Includes the story of the Rev. Doug Willoughby, an Anglican priest who is himself HIV-positive and the diocese's involvement in the Philip Aziz Centre, a non-profit home hospice for people living with AIDS. Describes the work of The Teresa Group, founded by Penelope Holeton, an Anglican lay woman, to help children in Toronto living with AIDS, and also the fundraising work of St. Clement's, Eglinton, which has contributed to the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and which in August 2006 "held a reception for grandmothers from Kenya who [were] in Toronto for the International AIDS Conference and the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers' Gathering".