Advocacy

Strategic Objective:
To improve and enhance the advocacy role of the Church, both within and without itself, as a unified voice on the critical issues of HIV and AIDS.

To achieve this objective, PACANet has deliberately and systematically evolved a process of initiating and developing widespread local congregation responses to HIV and AIDS. Activities have been aimed at developing congregation level capacity and giving guidance on how to evolve and sustain a local level congregation response to HIV and AIDS.

Efforts directed towards advocacy include:

Bishops and senior church leaders consultations, the change agents training, the stigma and discrimination trainings; these activities are done during the network development process. Engagements at both regional and national levels has been done in a number of topical discussions, papers presented, think tank, listserv discussions and much more. They include:

* Mobilizing for a grassroots congregational level leaders in how to respond to HIV and AIDS.
* Organizing national symposia to address critical advocacy issues affecting the faith communities.
* Developing and facilitating an inter-church think-tank to continually reflect on matters of theology and public health and scientific facts.
* Facilitating the establishment of AIDS committees at the congregational level of churches that define a mainstreaming approach to HIV/AIDS.
* Advocating for and facilitating the involvement of the grassroots constituency in the development of HIV/AIDS policies within the Church.
* Carrying out regional level consultations with top Church leadership on critical HIV and AIDS issues. Some of the topics already discussed include:
a) Claims of divine healing of HIV and AIDS;
b) Ethno-cultural factors fuelling the spread of HIV and AIDS;
c) Church teachings and practices that may contribute to vulnerability to HIV
infection

* How funding for HIV and AIDS initiatives trickles to the grassroots;
* Concept and practices of multiple concurrent partnerships in faith
* communities;
* Gender power relations;
* Legal and human rights issues and their implications;
* Theological, moral, and ethical implications and dilemmas in relation to HIV and AIDS.