2015-06-24 10:51:00

SECAM promotes HIV/AIDS Pastoral Training Manual

A   five-day workshop on the theme: Training of Trainers on the effective dissemination of the ‘SECAM Pastoral Training Manual in Response to HIV and AIDS’ has ended in Lome, Togo on 21 June, 2014 with a call on all dioceses in Africa to endeavour to effectively and efficiently disseminate an HIV/AIDS Pastoral Training Manual.

This was one of the recommendations of the Worksop organised by the Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). The Workshop for French-speaking African countries was attended by 35 participants. It was hosted by the Episcopal Conference of Togo.

The Training of Trainers Workshop provided insights and guidelines for an effective dissemination strategy that will maximise the chances of effecting real change and widen the overall impact of the training manual by people of faith who are striving to develop a compassionate, effective and non-judgmental response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Africa.

The Manual represents the efforts of the Church in Africa in fulfillment of a recommendation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops (African Synod), held in October 2009. That Synod  recommended  that  “ SECAM develops an HIV / AIDS pastoral manual for all those involved in the Church’s AIDS ministry (priests, religious, doctors, nurses, counselors, catechists, teachers) applying the Church’s moral and social doctrine in the different situations, where the People of God in Africa are facing the various challenges of the pandemic.”

The workshop in Lome involved panel discussions; presentations by facilitators; spiritual and theological reflections and field visits to some HIV and AIDS projects in Togo.

A similar workshop for English speaking African countries was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 5 to 9 November 2014.

It would be recalled that the Standing Committee of SECAM approved the Manual designed for Africa in 2012 when it was presented by Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo. Msgr. Vitillo works for Caritas Internationalis as both Head of Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva and Special Advisor on HIV/AIDS and Health.

(Ben Assorow, Director of Communications, SECAM)

e-mail: engafrica@vatiradio.va

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