The role of Christian faith-based organizations in HIV and AIDS intervention.
As the burden of HIV and AIDS ncreases in different communities of the world today, new organizations are being formed to help mitigate its impact. The current study assessed whether Christian fa th-based organizations (FBOs) were making any contribution to mitigate the impact HIV and AIDS in Pietermaritzburg area using a case study of the ESSA Christi AIDS Programme (ECAP). ECAP has been involved in training churches in HI and AIDS awareness, home-based and orphan care, assisting churches to initiate c urch-related projects, and facilitating the Church and AIDS course to the theology s udents at the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa (ESSA). The population of this study comp ised twenty (20) ESSA graduates who took the HIV and AIDS course between 19 9 and 2000. The self-administered questionnaire was sent to all twenty to assess hether they experienced any change in their thinking, attitude and behaviour to'jards people with AIDS as a result of taking the Church and AIDS course, and wHat HIV and AIDS-related activities they were involved in. An interview schedule with two phases, was used to collect data. The first phase elicited data from six (6) ECAP stakeholders to establish a brief historical background of ECAP. The second hase elicited data from ten (l0) church ministers in whose churches ECAP conduc ed its training to assess whether the ECAP's training programmes made any di erence in their attitude and behaviour towards people with AIDS, and what HIV a AIDS projects they started as a result of getting being trained. Although the study could not ge eralize the results because of the case study methodology, the results showed th t ECAP was making significant contribution to the fight against AIDS epidemic no only in the communities of Pietermaritzburg but also in other countries where the EISA graduates were working. However, lack of enough human and financial resour es is affecting ECAP's efficiency. Based on the findings in this study, recommen tions have been made to ECAP's method of recruiting churches for training, enues for training and its approach to HIV prevention methods.
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