KZN Church AIDS Network
The KZNCAN, which was jointly initiated by church leaders and the KZNCC in 2004, encourages churches and Christian organisations to respond effectively to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. It networks and partners with interfaith organisations and civil society. Its most significant projects are “Men and Gender”, the Male Caregivers’ Programme, and “Sisters of Faith in Action and Advocacy” (SOFIA).
Men and Gender aims to transform men and institutions in the context of HIV and AIDS and poverty. It mobilises and supports men in church leadership positions to influence their peers to change their attitudes and behaviour, in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. The Male Caregivers’ Programme challenges men to become caregivers for people affected by or infected by HIV and AIDS. SOFIA organises women to reflect on and advocate for gender justice and development.
Emphases of KZNCAN:
- Promoting cooperation, resource-sharing and innovation among churches and ecumenical structures working on HIV and AIDS;
- Facilitating liaison between churches, NGOs and government;
- Equipping churches with skills to initiate HIV and AIDS programmes and/or to integrate these into their overall work;
- Devising prevention campaigns and strategies, also for TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections;
- On the basis or research, designing appropriate interventions to support child-headed households;
- Mentoring church-based organisations catering for orphans and vulnerable children;
- Continuing to develop and promote a theology of a caring community;
Emphases of Men and Gender:
- Encouraging and training men to give practical care and psychosocial support;
- Collaborating with health institutions in giving such care;
- Discussing with men how they are socialised into particular forms of masculinity;
- Lobbying government and other institutions about issues affecting this Programme;
- Extending the Programme to additional areas of the Province;
- Supporting Men’s Forums to increase the impact of the Programme;
- Developing materials on gender justice suited to the KZN context.
Emphases of SOFIA:
- Mobilising women throughout discussions about how male children are socialised into a particular kind of masculinity;
- Together with tertiary institutions and seminaries, compiling and analysing stories about how women are impeded from effectively contributing to development and leadership in society;
- Creating spaces for dialogue, networking and partnerships;
- Running workshops and theological reflections on the experiences of women as presented in the scriptures of various faith groups.
Whenever possible and appropriate, the KZNCC encourages participants in SOFIA and Men and Gender to discuss issues of mutual concern.