In July 2017 the Diakonia AIDS Ministry (DAM) of the ELCSA Central Diocese in Jabavu, Soweto signed a Project Agreement with CHABAHIVA Trust to implement HIV initiatives in the organisation’s neighbouring community. The first objective of the project was to ensure that businesses and churches take part in the struggle against HIV and AIDS and other health issues.
DAM implemented this “church and business project” through their Education and Training Department.
The project was implemented successfully during the second half of 2017 and the following were highlights:
A number of local community churches were visited: Methodist Church in Southern Africa, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, Apostolic Faith Mission, Roman Catholic, Grace Bible Church, Dutch Reformed Church, Orlando Baptist Church, Swiss Mission in Southern Africa and Zoe Bible Church.
These visits were complemented with 19 visits to big and small businesses, including local Buy and Braai hot spots, Taverns, Car washes, local fast food restaurants and bigger businesses such as Pick n Pay and Blue Ribbon.
An indaba lunch was attended by 29 representatives from the above mentioned churches and businesses.
Seven churches and 15 businesses responded positively to the invitation to partner with DAM. The organisation Sedibeng Sa Bophelo collaborated with DAM in bringing health services to the community.
About 4 000 male condoms have been distributed (+ 22 female condoms) and 900 people made use of the opportunities created for HCT, hypertension and diabetes screenings. These services were presented at churches, businesses, taxi ranks and train stations.
Above: Testing kiosks organised by DAM
Challenges experienced included forming a partnership with the Department of Health as well as resistance from African Traditional churches where the believe that prayers alone would help, still persisted. They also experienced the negative effects of HIV related stigma in the community.
CHABAHIVA Trust decided to support a further similar project in 2018.
This will build on the previous initiatives in the area of Jabavu and will also collaborate with the Springs Field Band to implement similar initiatives in that area.
More information about Diakonia AIDS Ministry
The Diakonia AIDS Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) Central Diocese offers essential services to the community, including trained home based caregivers, case management for orphans and vulnerable children, support group meetings and income generation projects.
DAM’s vision is to be a leading faith based organisation in people centred health and development services.
DAM’s mission is to provide mechanisms that address socio-economic factors and engage strategic partners to address HIV and AIDS, related social issues, and empowerment of individuals and the community in Southern Africa and the church.
DAM has 5 departments:
- Education and Training;
- Orphans and vulnerable Children;
- Home Based Care;
- Support Group and
Many of the people working in DAM are volunteers.
CHABAHIVA Trust’s support
CHABAHIVA Trust supports projects of the Education and Training Department to partner with local churches and businesses and mobilise them to take part in the struggle against HIV and AIDS and other health concerns while providing HIV counselling and testing and information to the community.
For more information about DAM, visit their Facebook page and their Website.