HIV & AIDS

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

LUCSA recognizes and appreciates the important role of communication between and among couples. While enhancing the quality of relationships, it can help to prevent conflicts among couples and resolve the most challenging situations including the challenges brought by HIV and AIDS.

The LUCSA HIV and AIDS Desk recently conducted a trainer of trainers Couple Communication workshop for the clergy and their spouses in the ELCSA-WD with a view to them starting couple communication activities in their respective constituencies. During training the participants were given safe spaces to discuss unfolding issues including a special dinner on the last evening of the workshop.

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
Leading by example towards the end of AIDS by 2030

Leading by example towards the end of AIDS by 2030

As 2030 draws closer, it has become imperative for all to increase their contribution to end AIDS. The LUCSA HIV and AIDS Desk has committed to build on to the HIV and AIDS information through HIV and AIDS and TB treatment literacy for the clergy and survival skills for PLHIV. Three such activities have been held in the member churches so far this year. The participants availed themselves for HIV testing at the end of the workshops. It is hoped that, armed with this information, the participants will motivate others for HIV testing in order for those testing positive to register early and start treatment.  Timely interventions and better outcomes.

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
The Church as a Workplace

The Church as a Workplace

Most of the time, the church is externally focused, giving service to all those in need. There are very few programmes if at all, for the church employees. The HIV and AIDS DESK introduced the programme on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB and Gender in the workplace to the church employees of the ELCZ-WD through a mentorship exercise. A total number of 28 people represented the church institutions in the western diocese. The aim of the programme is to address the underlying issues that increase the risk and vulnerability of the church employees to HIV exposure, the effects of AIDS as well as impact mitigation within the workplace and during working hours and beyond. All the 9 institutions have since established committees which will be responsible for the conduct of the workplace programme. Orientation of these committees will be done in the last quarter of 2018.

The Church as a Workplace
Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
LUCSA council meeting

LUCSA council meeting

The LUCSA Council meeting was held from 3rd -7th September at the Outlook Lodge in Bonaero Park.

The Council is made up of the heads of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 10 Southern African Countries and 5 in South Africa, 4 women 3 representatives that are elected from these member churches on a rotational basis.

LUCSA Council,Partners and Staff

The meeting started at 16:00 on 3rd September 2018 and this was attended by the President of LUCSA Bishop Horst Müller, the deputy president Bishop Dr Joseph Bvumbwe, Bishop Gilbert Filter, chair of Programme Committee for Education, Theology and Ecumenical Relations, Bishop Chemist Faindi, chairperson of the Programme Committee for Mission and Diakonia, Mrs. Kidi Tshukudu, chair of Standing Committee for Finance and Administration, Mrs. Lynette Burger, women representative, Rev Zelda Cossa, youth representative and the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi.

The meeting started with a devotion in the morning and in the evenings and these were held in the Chapel.

On the 4th September 2018 during the Opening Service, the new members of the Council were inducted by the LUCSA President Bishop Horst Müller assisted by the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi. They were Rev Martin Abrahams from MCSA, Bishop Absalom Mnisi from ELCSA, Bishop Eduardo Sinalo ,Mrs. Esther Mathulwe and Miss Emanuela Ndawanapo from EILA. They also each received copy of the LUCSA Constitution.

The sermon was delivered by Bishop Ernst //Gamxamub from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN).

The meeting continued with the report by the Executive Director. Fraternal greetings were given by LUCSA Partners. Rev Dr Elieshi Mungure sent greetings on behalf of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Rev Michael Schultheiss gave greetings on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission (ELM) Rev Kevin Jacobson on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  Rev Dr Christine Keim sent greetings on behalf of the German National Committee (GNC/LWF)

There were presentations made by the LWF Council members Bishop Dr Veikko Munyika from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) the LWF report, Rev Elitha Moyo from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) on Gender Justice and Mr. Khulekani Magwaza from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) on Climate change.

On 5th and 6th September 2018 the different programme committees went into the breakaway rooms to discuss issues around the programmes and possible amendments to the LUCSA Constitution.

The meeting adjourned on the 6th September 2018 with the closing service led by Bishop Chemist Faindi from ELCZ.

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk, HIV & AIDS, InfoHut
13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

From August 23 to 26, 2018 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) gathered in Lilongwe to hold its 13th Assembly and to celebrate its 36th anniversary.

The assembly was officially opened with a worship service and sermon by Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe based on the theme “May God bless the works of our hands” taken from Psalm 90:7. The bishop explained the meaning of Kilimanjaro as Kilima (journey) and Njaro (impossible) saying that for the church “mission impossible” was possible with God’s power and accompaniment.

Some 200 lay delegates and 70 pastors from 9 Deaneries were in attendance.

The assembly received a consolidated report highlighting the work of the church and its departments over the past four years including 60 feeding centers for vulnerable children, the mobile clinic service, income generating activities such as small-scale bakeries and improved sustainable agriculture and crop storage techniques, malaria and HIV prevention, environmental protection and climate change adaptation encouraging fuel efficient stoves and tree planting programs.  The report also mentioned the introduction of the INFOHUT project by the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) which trains young people in computer technology and life skills.

The historic church assembly adopted a new constitution allowing for expansion from one to three dioceses and ordination that “shall no longer be based on gender.”

At the celebration international and regional partners were warmly welcomed with speeches, choirs and dance including displays of the Diaconal and congregational work of this growing church.

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk, HIV & AIDS, InfoHut
Mentoring for Mainstreaming

Mentoring for Mainstreaming

church leagues/organs, pastors and the Bishop who worked on the syllabus for each organ in preparation for mainstreaming.

Church leagues/organs, pastors and the Bishop who worked on the syllabus for each organ in preparation for mainstreaming

Photo church workers workshop

3-14-February-2014, Program:
HIV and AIDS 
Report by Simayedwa B. Moyo 

Purpose: Capacity enhancement of the church leaders in preparation for mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB, Gender and Development Principles.

The mentorship and Technical support exercise was conducted at three levels. The participants were drawn from ELCSA-ED head office, Circuit leaders (Deans), Pastors, 2 Church Schools, Principals and organ/ league leaders. The Total of people attended was 42. The activity was a success because the mentorship objectives were met. Some highlights of the achievements are listed below:

  • The Diocese had an experience of a baseline survey in the work place and organs. They also received a baseline feedback report.
  • They amended\ developed the HIV and AIDS policies and strategies plan to include TB, gender and Development.
  • They developed their first draft of the syllabus or organ/leagues and appointed an implementation committee.
Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
Mentorship for mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB, Gender and Development Principles

Mentorship for mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB, Gender and Development Principles

Date: 3-7 February 2014
Program: HIV and AIDS
Report by Ms Busi Dube

In her continued efforts to enhance the capacity of member churches to respond in a relevant effective, efficient and sustainable manner to the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and following the consultation that was held in October 2013, the LUCSA HIV and AIDS Programme conducted the second consultation on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB Gender and Developing Principles in ELCSA-SED. Mainstreaming is a process that addresses the underlying cause and effects of HIV and AIDS.ELCSA-SED is situated in the province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. According to the Health Sciences Research Council of South Africa report of June 2013, HIV prevalence in South Africa is 12.3% however KwaZulu Natal had the highest prevalence of 26.6%in the 15-49year age group.

In this light relevant and appropriate interventions are of paramount importance. 21 participants inclusive of Deans, Pastors, League Directors and circuit Health and wellness programme coordinators attended the four day mentorship exercise, which was held at Umphumulo church centre.

HIV and AIDS activities are included in the Health and Wellness programme

The objectives of the mentorship:

  • To identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats using the baseline survey results.
  • To revisit the mainstreaming concept.to review and amend the leagues’ syllabi to include mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB, Gender and Development Principles.
  • To identify the work place HIV and AIDS programme\ wellness programme focal person or make recommendations on the issue.
  • Review the ELCSA HIV and AIDS policy and ELCSA-SED HIV and AIDS strategy plan with a view to recommending amendments on mainstreaming.
  •   Planning the way forward for rolling out mainstreaming.

The outputs from the workshop are as follows:

  • The mainstreaming Roll out activity plan was drawn based on the current ELCSA-SED strategic plan the ends in 2017.
  • Recommendations for the amendments of the HIV and AIDS policy to include the workshop policy and mainstreaming.
  • Recommendations for a workplace Health and wellness programme that includes HIV and AIDS.
  • Amended curricula for three leagues including, men’s league, women’s league and Christian Education (Sunday School).

All there will be taken to the Diocesan Council if they have been included in the minutes. The LUCSA HIV and AIDS programme personnel will follow up progress on mainstreaming in the ELCSA-SED church telephonically until October 2014 when the next consultation has been scheduled.

Posted by trisha in Christian Education, Gender Violence, HIV & AIDS
Lutheran Centre in Bonaero Park Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013Lutheran Centre in Bonaero Park Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013

Lutheran Centre in Bonaero Park Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013Lutheran Centre in Bonaero Park Commemorate World AIDS Day 2013

A nurse from the Bonaero Park Municipal Clinic explains the foundation of a healthy lifestyle – Photo: LUCSA/Kristen Opalinski

6/12/2013 Johannesburg, South Africa
Each year the world comes together to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1 December. 

After three decades of pain and suffering throughout Southern Africa and the world we are seeing a promising light at the end of the tunnel. Massive leaps forward in both access and quality of anti-retro viral medication over the past few years has helped to usher in a new era of hope in the fight against this disease. Patients are literally being brought back from the edge of death to live healthy, full lives. And while there is promise of an HIV vaccine in the not too distant future the need for continued education and vigilance is needed.

In John 10:10 Jesus explains “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” HIV & AIDS comes like a thief in the night to rob and steal the life of its victim. By the grace of God we have seen this thief’s ability to bring harm greatly reduced. At the forefront of this vigilance is the need to live the healthiest life possible. Diet, exercise, spiritual development, and making healthy choices are all important pillars to ensure we live the best possible lives.

To commemorate World AIDS Day 2013 LUCSA’s HIV & AIDS Desk organized a community health day at the Lutheran Centre. Staff from the Bonaero Park Municipal Clinic spent the day at the Lutheran Centre, joining the community in an HIV & AIDS based liturgy. In addition to the service members of the clinic also offered medical screenings for free to over 30 community members. Screenings included blood pressure, glucose, body masse index (BMI), HIV testing, and male and female specific screenings.

Venah Mzezewa summed up the day’s events, “It was an opportunity to share as a group, learn from one another and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world by promoting safe and healthy lifestyles.”

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
Moravian Church in South Africa Launches HIV & AIDS Fund in Vosloorus

Moravian Church in South Africa Launches HIV & AIDS Fund in Vosloorus

Lighting candles in remembrance of all who have lost their lives to AIDS

Lighting candles in remembrance of all who have lost their lives to AIDS

3/12/2013 Johannesburg, South Africa

At the invitation of the Moravian Church in Southern Africa (MCSA) District 7 (Gauteng) the LUCSA HIV & AIDS Desk Coordinator, Venah Mzezewa, gave a motivational speech to the congregants on World AIDS Day, on the occasion of the launch of their HIV and AIDS Fund. The launching of the fund is a necessary move as funding for HIV and AIDS is declining worldwide.  Mrs. Mzezewa gave a brief background of the HIV and AIDS situation in South Africa, highlighting the current estimated prevalence and the total number of people living with HIV.

Mrs. Mzezewa went on to inform the congregants, among then was the recently consecrated Bishop, that the church has a captive audience weekly and also have the power to influence people in general as well as the government in a positive way. They need to take advantage of this situation.

Using the scriptures to describe how the church can respond to HIV and AIDS and the injustices there from, she sighted the following verses from The Bible

  • Matthew 28:18-20. The church has the responsibility to evangelize people and give them topical information.
  • The church has the responsibility to protect God given life (Luke 4:18 and 19) It is in Jesus Christ that the motive for designing a caring response to HIV and AIDS is found. The church recognizes that they are wounded proclaimers of the word.
  • Speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves and helping the hopeless.(Proverbs 31:8-9)
  • God promises a reward for faithfulness (1John3:2) all rewards are eternal. The pain of HIV is nothing compared to the joy of being in Christ and of being surrounded by loving and caring Christians.
  • The joy of giving. Mrs. Mzezewa gave an analogy of a joyful giver who did not worry about how much she had given away as giving made her happy. In the same way we should know that people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS are our responsibility. We should care for them financially. Proverbs 11:24 states that ‘One man gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.

The church collected R1075 to kick-start their HIV and AIDS fund. They were grateful for the message and information that they had received. LUCSA gave the church information booklets, T-shirt and caps as IEC (information, education, & communication) materials. An estimated 70 people attended the service.

 

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS