November 2013 Newsletter

From the Desk of the CEO

Welcome to the KZNCC newsletter! The KZNCC is making inroads into combating the scourge of HIV and AIDS. This newsletter will focus on the work done by KZNCC in the fight against HIV and AIDS. We also share news from our sister ecumenical organisations in KZN  where available.

You are also encouraged to see our job advert for the position of SAVE HIV and AIDS Prevention Campaign Manager on  www.kzncc.org.za ,  as well as the UKZN advert in this issue dealing with registration dates for the Theology and Development Programme.

God Bless!

Dr Douglas Dziva


A Word from Bishop Mike Vorster, Chairman of the Executive Board

 

The other day my doctor told me that her son is spending a semester in a Scandinavian university and that A CELL PHONE WAS STOLEN FROM A LOCAL STUDENT. The reaction by the students in his residence was of shock and disgust (because crime is uncommon). The doc’s son said his initial response was of indifference because petty and major crime like this happens so often in South Africa. My doc went on to say that we seem to have become numb to crime in general.

Last week my daughter was one of 40 PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN SCAMMED by a person selling fraudulent tickets for a music festival in Darling, Western Cape. This chap made about R30 000. This left her stranded. From a distance, we as parents were frantic and, together with our circle of church friends, we managed to find her accommodation and another ticket. It all turned out okay for her in the end. This does not always happen for many who are affected by crime. Crime comes to us in many ways. Are we becoming indifferent to it all?  Have WE BECOME COMFORTABLY NUMB when injustices and crimes occur in South Africa because it happens so often?

TEST YOURSELF. READ A NEWSPAPER TODAY; ESPECIALLY ANY ARTICLE TO DO WITH CRIME and/or POLITICAL VIOLENCE and/or INJUSTICES. HOW DO FEEL ABOUT THIS?

Yes, WE HAVE OUR MOMENTS OF MORAL OUTRAGE and then we go back to accepting, even participating in breaking the law (like talking on our cell phones when driving, thinking this is nothing), until THE NEXT CRISIS that is headlined in newspapers. Remember how everyone was dancing in the townships recently as part of a campaign against rape? Where did that moment of moral outrage get us?  Programmes of action are needed. Socio-economic issues need to be addressed. 

THE EARLY JESUS MOVEMENT WAS CALLED “THE WAY,” BECAUSE THEY LITERALLY SHOWED THE WAY IN THE WAY THEY LIVED.  As a Christian community we ought to LIVE PROPHETICALLY – here is a hint of HOW from Acts 2:44 “All who believed were together and HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON; they would sell their possession and goods and DISTRIBUTE THE PROCEEDS TO ALL, AS ANY HAD NEED. 
IMAGINE IF WE LIVED THIS WAY…..???

God bless and keep you safe.
Shalom, Bishop Mike 


 

News

KZNCC, TAC, AND NAPWA SIGN MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING

The signing of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between the KZNCC, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and with the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAPWA) was an historical achievement. This milestone was reached on the 19th June 2013 at the sitting of the 6th South African AIDS Conference (SAAC) at the Durban International Conference Centre. The MoUs are ultimately about rolling out the SAVE Campaign in all the 9 provinces of South Africa. Member churches are encouraged to take an interest in the SAVE Campaign. Look out for invitations to participate in spreading the positive messages of prevention.

Patrick Mdletshe for TAC, Mululeki Zazane for NAPWA and Douglas Dziva sign memorandum of agreement on SAVE campaign

APPROACHING THE CHAPTER 9 INSTITUTIONS: KWAZULU-NATAL CHURCH AIDS NETWORKS (KZNCAN)

The KZNCAN programme is now approaching the Chapter 9 Institutions of South Africa for partnership and joint implementation where our activities are compatible. Watch this space for the progress report in the next issue.

EIGHTY (80) FATHERS HONOURED: SISTERS OF FAITH IN ACTION (SOFIA), SOBANTU BRANCH

SOFIA is that hosted a successful Fathers’ Day event at the Sobantu Chambers on 16 June 2013. About 80 fathers from as far as Mngeni Municipality attended. The fathers were presented with ablution cosmetics donated by the Gift of the Givers. The fathers were engaged in a discussion addressing social ills such as rape of children, women, and the elderly, and lack of respect for one another in the communities. This discussion was facilitated by Dr L.M. Ngoetjana. This discussion at Sobantu will be conducted once a month.

Dr L M Ngoetjana facilitating a conversation on Fathers’ Day

VICTORY ON QUACK MEDICINES: LOBBYING AND ADVOCACY IN COLLABORATION WITH THE TAC

KZNCC is working in close collaboration with the TAC as one of our partners supporting the campaign against bogus claims advocating the use of the HIVEX machine, purported to heal HIV. On the day when HIVEX was finally vexed, a meeting was held, chaired by KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, which gave Mr Clive an opportunity to describe and define the HIVEX system. During his presentation, Mr Clive indicated that he does not own the HIVEX operation, but is a volunteer and a layman in the context of HIV and medical technology. He failed to provide any personal academic background when asked to do so and indicated that the HIVEX system uses electromagnetic treatment to “cure” or eradicate the HI virus proteins” (TAC Newsletter 2012:4). In keeping with the MEC’s resulting instructions, the HIVEX operation has been closed.

CONCEPT PAPER ENGAGING PERCEPTIONS AND THEOLOGIES OF FAITH AND HEALING AND HEALTH: PROVINCIAL COUNCIL ON AIDS (PCA) – HIV AND AIDS SUB-COMMITTEE

In the most recent development at the Provincial Council on AIDS (PCA) in respect of the KZNCC influencing policy-making processes, the Premier of the Province of KZN has appointed a sub-committee to look at government’s and society’s response to some faith groups who claim to have healing powers for HIV and AIDS. The MEC on Health was asked to chair the committee. The Premier called the representative of the faith sector, Dr L.M. Ngoetjana, who happens to be a staff member at the KZNCC, to automatically join the committee. At one committee meeting, the MEC asked the KZNCC advocacy person to write a concept paper on health, healing, and faith healing. The concept paper has since been approved and is being used for discussion around the province of KZN and is well-received by all participants.

PROVINCIAL ADVOCACY FORUM

The Provincial Advocacy Forum (PAF) is now up and running. The latest development with the PAF is that they have engaged with and lobbied behind the uMgungundlovu Municipality to give attention to the men’s sector. The PAF of KZNCC is leading that process. The forum continues to have workshops on the Theology of Care, community conversations on social ills, and development of advocacy strategies to engage on issues of service delivery on health related matters.

ISSUES EMERGING FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN AIDS CONFERENCE (SAAC) 2013 HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE (ICC), DURBAN – 17TH – 20TH JUNE 2013

At the meeting of the 2013 South African AIDS Conference (SAAC), several issues have emerged as they have been addressed by speakers and participants from various parts of South Africa. Below is a brief description of what has emerged out of the conference’s deliberations.

  • Gender-based violence (GBV) against women living with HIV and human rights violations against people living with HIV (PLWH).  This has implications for policy, legislation, and programming. The programme that shall emerge will be an advocacy tool for law and policy makers, as well as human rights organisations and PLWH networks. All these efforts are meant to address stigma and discrimination against PLWH. KZNCC is urging churches and partners to organise discussions on these emerging issues. Please submit strategies for interventions to: Lngoetjana@kzncc.org.za or Fax: 033 3949965
  • Provider-Initiated Counselling and Testing (PICT) / Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).  It is acknowledged that Voluntary Counselling and Testing has not attracted many people to come forward to be tested for HIV. It is alleged Provider-Initiated Counselling and Testing (PICT) might be the way to go. PICT is an idea that HIV counselling service providers must take an initiative to openly make their skills available and challenge people to come for HIV testing - meaning that there must be an engagement between partners and policy-makers to promote an environment conducive to the implementation of PICT. Should anyone need HIV counseling, contact KZNCC – 033 345 4819; Lngoetjana@kzncc.org.za or Fax: 033 3949965; info@kzncc.org.za
  • Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC): Updates and best practices on VMMC are under discussion. From the perspective of civil society organisations, especially led and collaboratively supported by KZNCC and TAC, men must be educated on options of the methods of circumcision available so that they can make an informed choice on their selected choice. Medical Male Circumcision (MCC) was welcomed and supported by the cultural and political leadership of KZN.
  • Impact of HIV on young people:  Young people from the age of 12 are still in the grips of HIV and AIDS. The rise of teenage pregnancy is an indication that young people are having unsafe sex. More intervention and dialogue with young people is needed. KZNCC has created a tool of dialogue with young people on teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and HIV and AIDS. Should you need KZNCC to conduct a community dialogue, please contact 033 345 4819; Lngoetjana@kzncc.org.za or Fax: 033 3949965; info@kzncc.org.za
  • HIV and AIDS prevention:  The SAVE Campaign has come at the right time. This is a time when the message of prevention needs to be clearly issued. KZNCC has recently entered into Memoranda of Understanding with the TAC of KZN and National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAPWA) to roll out the SAVE Campaign. The SAVE Campaign was well advertised at the SAAC, at ICC, Durban.

(From left to right) Ms. Lyn van Rooyen, Rev. Muzi Dumakude and Dr David Barstow at the KZNCC and CABSA Exhibition stall during the SAAC, ICC, Durban

INTERFAITH INTERVENTIONS EXHIBITION STAND NUMBER 73

During the South African Aids Conference 2013 which was held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Durban from 17th – 20th June 2013, KZNCC and other partners exhibited our work on HIV and AIDS. Approximately 4000 people visited our exhibition stand. The SAVE Campaign was especially popular and attracted many of the people who came to our exhibition stall.

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY POLITICAL DECLARATION ON HIV/AIDS: TARGETS AND ELIMINATION COMMITMENTS – TO ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HIV PREVENTION, TREATMENT, CARE AND SUPPORT BY 2015

The 2011 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS agreed on ten targets that must be achieved by 2015. The following are the ten targets that the Assembly set. All of us should work together for these targets to be realized:

  1. Reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 50% by 2015
  2. Reduce transmission of HIV among people who inject drugs by 50% by 2015
  3. Eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and substantially reduce AIDS-related maternal deaths
  4. Reach 15 million people living with HIV with lifesaving antiretroviral treatment by 2015
  5. Reduce tuberculosis deaths in people living with HIV by 50% by 2015
  6. Close the global AIDS resource gap by 2015 and reach annual global investment of US$22 – 24 billion in low – and middle income countries
  7. Eliminate gender inequalities and gender-based abuse and violence and increase the capacity of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV
  8. Eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV through promotion of laws and polices that ensure the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms
  9. Eliminate HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay, and residence
  10. Eliminate parallel systems of HIV-related services to strengthen integration of the AIDS response in global health and development efforts.

THEOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

This exciting interdisciplinary programme envisions the increased capacity of Christian leadership in Africa to reflect on and be engaged in social transformation for the public good.

  • A programme of choice for African theological scholarship
  • Critical reflection on issues in development
  • Postgraduate degrees: BTh (Hons), MTh, PhD
  • Dynamic classes & cutting-edge research
  • Expertise for leadership in the church, academy & society

Applications to study in 2014 are open, until 31 October 2013. A limited number of bursaries are available based on academic merit & promise.

Enquiries:
Director: 
Dr Clint Le Bruyns

Website

‘KZN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES’ (KZNCC) VERGADER

Die NG Kerk in KZN was bevoorreg om deel te neem aan die drie jaarlikse "Assembly" van die KZNCC op 20 en 21 Augustus 2013. Die meeste hoofstroomkerke, kleiner kerke en ekumeniese streeksliggame in KZN is lede van die KZNCC, insluitend die NG Kerk in KZN. Ds Ben v Dyk, Predikant in Sinodale Diens in KZN, en nog vier afgevaardigdes het die vergadering bygewoon. Hy skryf:

“Vir ons as NG Kerk is die ekumeniese wêreld nog 'n groot uitdaging. 'n Mens is egter verstom oor die welwillendheid wat ons by die byeenkoms ervaar het. Ons vyf afgevaardigdes se slotsom: dit was goed om daar te wees!”

Hierdie ekumeniese liggaam skep 'n platvorm vir sy lede om gemeenskaplike sake te bespreek, verslag te kry van die projekte wat in die gemeenskap gedoen word en toekomsbeplanning te doen.

Voorgestelde projekte vir die volgende drie jaar termyn is die HIV en VIGS program, "healing of memories" en versoening asook grondkwessies. Hierdie projekte word hoofsaaklik met buitelandse donasies befonds. Tydens die vergadering is aanbiedings gedoen oor grondsake en vroueregte.

Die grondwet van KZNCC is tydens die vergadering hersien en 'n nuwe uitvoerende komitee verkies. Die vorige voorsitter, biskop Mike Vorster van die Metodiste Kerk is herkies as voorsitter.

NS: “Ons wil vir ds Ben van Dyk baie geluk wens met sy verkiesing op die uitvoerende komitee van die KZNCC. Dit is ‘n groot verantwoordelikheid, maar ons is bevoorreg om hom, van die NG Kerk in KZN se kant, op die Uitvoerende Komitee te kan hê.” (Ds Frikkie vd Merwe – Moderator KZN)