Tragic news

Tragic news

he Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa extends heartfelt condolences to Motlamme family, the The United Lutheran Theological Seminary Paulinum and the Evangelican Lutheran church in Botswana (ELCB) on the passing of  Gofaone Bonyana Motlamme a theological student at The United Lutheran Theological Seminary Paulinum. We gather that she was stubbed to death on Saturday 22nd February, 2014.

May God, who takes our loved ones to him and give them everlasting peace comfort you all

Posted by in The Lutheran World Federation
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 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 in Christian Education, Gender Violence, HIV & AIDS
Deadly disease on rise in Angola

Deadly disease on rise in Angola

ACT Alliance – Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Heavy rains in Angola have sparked fears a cholera epidemic in southern provinces of the country will worsen, resulting in significant loss of life.

Until recently, the Huila and Cunene provinces had been plagued by a three-year drought that left 1.83 million people with severe food shortages and resultant health problems. While the long-awaited rainfall is bringing drought relief, with it has come a rise in the number of cholera cases.

ACT members plan to start a major public health education campaign on December 16, tackling the cholera threat with water, sanitation and hygiene programmes and education on disease prevention.

Cholera emerged in Angola in 2006, with efforts to eradicate it unsuccessful. Very little improvement has been made in terms of sanitation and the distribution of drinkable water to most communities. Until now, 80,000 Angolans have been diagnosed, with 3000 having died, according to Portuguese media. The Angolan health ministry says 133 deaths were reported in three municipalities of Cunene province alone this year, 48 of which were recorded in late November.

An ACT appeal for southern Angola will, if fully funded, provide lifesaving food, drinking water and hygiene facilities rural families in Huila and Cunene, paving the way for long-term programmes to improve residents’ livelihoods and put drought-preparedness plans in place. The $740,000 appeal has a shortfall of $200,000.

André Cangovi, of ACT member the Lutheran World Federation and coordinator of the ACT group of members in Angola, says the situation for residents of the south will deteriorate as the rain continues. “People are drinking untreated water, which is really worsening the situation. The government has deployed some medical equipment and personnel but the problem is that some places are unreachable because of the flooding and mud which doesn’t allow vehicles to reach those places.” He said the government needed to airlift medical personnel and equipment to remote areas.

“The drought as such is now ending but the effect is not overcome. People have no supplies, their food stock has really disappeared and they now depend on handouts from humanitarian agencies and government.”

Some residents of Cunene and Huila moved to neighbouring Namibia or regions alongside rivers during the drought, leaving behind cattle and other livestock, many of which died. “Before the rain, the big problem was access to water. The alternative for most communities was to dig boreholes to see if they could reach the water table which had gone down so far – as low as more than 50m in some areas. Now they are getting too much water but cannot make sure it’s safe for drinking. This is what is increasing the cholera situation.”Radio broadcasts will be among the communication channels ACT members news to broadcast the sanitation message. “But the best way for our members to work is to use churches and local authorities and for local NGOs to be involved and to have contact with the communities and explain ways of mitigating the situation,” Cangovi said.

Posted by in Diakonia Desk
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 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 in HIV & AIDS
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