Building community - HIV

Building community - HIV

The aim of our HIV/Aids committee is to empower the congregation with information on issues around the HIV pandemic and the projects in which RUC members are involved. The committee plans training workshops, visits to projects and specific events, such as to mark World Aids Day. It develops ways of incorporating HIV and Aids-related issues into church services and acts as a networking hub between projects connected to its members.

The HIV Good News by Carol Cragg

It is very easy to become disheartened, even depressed about the HIV epidemic in our country. We read that South Africa has the biggest epidemic in the world. Of our adult population 16.6% – that is 5.6 million people – are infected with the virus.
But I have been asked to share some of the good news on the HIV front with you. This is by no means intended to deny the enormous suffering of some many people living with HIV, nor to allow ourselves to become complacent. There is in fact much to be excited about.

HIV loves those who are most left out by David Harrison

Any of us could get HIV, and some of us do. Whether rich or poor, unprotected sex can lead to HIV infection and we all have a personal responsibility to avoid getting infected and to protect other people. But HIV loves some of us more than others.

Umtha Welanga - 'A New Dawn'

According to UNICEF there were 3.4 million orphans in SA in 2009; almost 2 million of these have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by figures like these. And yet some people are inspired by them to respond. Like Vivienne Mciteka, founder of Umtha Welanga.  

Stigma, sex and AIDS by Barbara Centurier-Harris

Experts working on HIV and Aids agree that stigma is one of the main drivers of the pandemic. What does that mean?
Here are some facts:
• Many people who suspect that they might be HIV positive do not get tested for HIV (only 15% of those infected know that they are HIV positive – and those who don’t know cannot get help, and they can pass it on unknowingly – to partners, to babies);

Sisonke Beading and Sewing Project

Sisonke Beading and Sewing Project is an income-generating project and support group for HIV-positive mothers living in Langa. The project was initiated with the help of FAMSA Western Cape (Families South Africa), but is now running independently, although its finances are still channelled through FAMSA.

goGogetters in Maluti by David Harrison

Through the 2009 December retiring offering, members and friends of Rondebosch United Church contributed R11,200 to the goGogetters of Maluti in the Eastern Cape. The Maluti district is one of the poorest and most remote areas in South Africa, pushed up against the southern Drakensberg. There, in 2006, a group of grandmothers established a home for orphaned children, called Noncedo (‘We help’). By 2008, they had 22 children.

Christmas parcels 2009

For the past six years the German charity Lichtblick has sponsored Christmas parcels for families living with or affected by HIV/Aids. In 2009 Lichtblick, together with Kinderhilfe, sponsored 30 food parcels and 30 rucksacks for 30 children and their families.

Talking to Our Children by David Harrison

Do you remember the bumper sticker craze of the late 1980s that had those of us who are a little prudish walking around like we had sour lemons in our mouths? Let me remind you: ‘Surfers do it on the waves’; ‘pilots do it the air’; ‘joggers do it on the run’, etc. Well, not to be outdone, a clergyman from Cape Town – whose name escapes me now – posted his version on the billboard outside the church.

New School Uniforms

The retiring offering for December 2008 raised close to R10,000 in support of loveLife’s goGogetters – grandmothers who each look after up to ten children and teenagers who are directly affected by HIV/Aids. The funds were sent to goGogetters in Mbekweni township near Paarl, who decided that the money would best be used buying new school uniforms for 23 children in their care.

Supporting Gogos

The retiring offering collected during December 2008, together with the special Christmas morning offering, was used to support gogos in LoveLife’s new goGogetters programme. goGogetters are a network of 500 grandmothers across South Africa who protect teenagers and children at risk from HIV. They make them feel they belong, keep them at school, help them to access social grants, prevent sexual and physical abuse and help feed them.