Major workshop to tackle AIDS in Africa set for August

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Some 150 delegates from 30 African countries and 40 international donors will meet next month in Boksburg, South Africa, to map out strategies to combat the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
South Africa's Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane announced the initiative in an interview with PANA Wednesday in Cape Town.
Former President Nelson Mandela and Deputy President Jacob Zuma are also expected to attend the workshop slated for 13 to 16 August.
Saying "we dare not fail," Ndungane said the Anglican church was committed to providing emotional and spiritual healing and would tackle AIDS with all its might.
"It (initiative) is geared to finding an effective sub- Saharan response to the AIDS pandemic because we are all working for a generation without AIDS," he said.
Ndungane said "the programme is poised to become the critically needed catalyst that will ultimately bring governments, the private sector, civil society and faith communities into a synergistic and effective relationship as they join forces in this crucial battle for survival.
" "The main thrust of the initiative is to develop a basic tool kit that can be used to address seven core concerns.
These include counselling people living with AIDS, care, the role of leadership, prevention, spiritual guidance, orphans, funding and lobbying.
" At the workshop, which will be held at the Birchwood Conference Centre, delegates will address these seven concerns as the key to the battle against AIDS.
Delegates will be equipped to return to their diocese throughout the continent with the ability to evaluate the situation in their region or parish.
They will also have the skills to initiate programs that address education, counselling, home based care and grief management "because no-one should die alone and no-one should care alone.
" "If one considers the ability of churches to reach deep into communities and to adopt a hands-on approach to the pandemic, there is little doubt that our commitment can and must impact on all Africa and, indeed the whole world.
We know this is not going to be an easy task," the archbishop conceded.
"In many instances, we are going to have to cut across tradition and culture in terms of issues such as sex education for our young people and burial customs that take up too much land and place poverty stricken families in a permanent debt cycle," he said.

05 july 2001 11:16:00

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