From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[AACC] Africa Churches Urged to Make HIV/AIDS Education a

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Thu, 30 Sep 2004 14:02:01 -0700


By Akinyi Ogot

NAIROBI (AACC) September 30 - African leaders have been cautioned against 
ignoring messages from church leaders to their own detriment.  This was a 
message given by the General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of 
Churches (AACC) today September 30, 2004 at the Methodist Guest House at a 
meeting of African Church Leaders on HIV/AIDS organized by the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States of America (PCUSA).

Dr. Dandala speaking at the morning devotion reminded participants of the 
message from Mozambican President Dr. Joachim Chissano about the mistakes 
they made in not listening to the Churches.  He told participants that only 
unwise leaders turned deaf ears to the church and their leaders.  He said 
that when a church leader speaks, he/she speaks on behalf of a large 
constituency .	The church is known to have a very big constituency.

Dr. Dandala had at an earlier press conference speaking about the issue of 
miracle births of Rev. Deya s ministry, talked of the importance of 
differentiating between the true and untrue church.

He said HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that has the capacity to clear the continent 
.  He urged churches to have HIV/AIDS education as a priority.	He told 
members that during the AACC Heads of Churches Summit whose theme was The 
Church is HIV Positive , they had observed that there was no laid down 
strategy towards fighting HIV/AIDS.  He urged churches with mission 
hospitals to pull their energies together in order to strengthen the 
medical facility.

Whereas Christian councils are closing Youth Desks or merging the same with 
other programmes, there was an urgent need to give priority to issues 
affecting the youth who are the immediate hope for an HIV/AIDS free 
generation if well mentored , Dr. Dandala further stated.

Dr. Dandala singled out poverty as a contributing factor in the spread of 
HIV/AIDS.  Speaking on the issue of poverty in Africa, he said the church 
has the power of reversing poverty.   He urged church leaders to think 
seriously about restoring the place of agricultural advisors in their 
missions, for the sake of food production as a step towards eradicating 
poverty.  He said that their message would be a simple one:  God wants you 
to produce enough food and our duty will be to show you how to do it .

Dr. Dandala, a son of a South African Methodist priest, narrated a story of 
a lady many years back who could not pay her tithe because she had not 
received money from her husband who was working far away in the mines.	The 
priest was concerned about her family who may also be starving awaiting 
money from the mines.  The Church gave her money to enable her do some 
farming that would complement what her husband was giving.  From the 
produce, the lady was able to pay her tithe and feed her family.  This, Dr. 
Dandala said, is what the church should be doing today.

He was, however, quick to remind participants that part of poverty in 
Africa was due to mis-allocation of funds by governments who prefer to buy 
weapons while ignoring the needs of the community.

Dr. Dandala talked of the importance in training church leaders to know how 
to read budgets that would enable the churches to collectively study 
government budgets, make inputs in shaping the same and lobby for inclusion 
of poverty eradication programmes.  He informed the meeting that the 
Millennium Development Goals Plan could provide assistance in this area.

The meeting brought together over 40 Presbyterian Church leaders from over 
10 African countries to discuss issues of HIV/AIDS and poverty. The meeting 
which started on September 25 ends on October 1, 2004.

For further information, please get in touch with

Akinyi Lucy Ogot

AACC Communications and Advocacy Team

P. O. Box  14205,


Fax (020) 444 32 41

Tel: (020) 444 1483/444 1338/444 1339


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