Expanded Church Response

Bringing HIV into the Light

Fidel Ngoma is one of six children living with his mother in the crowded Ngombe Compound of Lusaka, Zambia. His mother has stayed busy for many years working to provide for her family. What she earned as a maid was not enough, so Fidel’s eldest brother also worked to try and provide. With his mother and older brother busy providing for the family, there was little guidance for him at home. As a result, he started chasing after things that were not good for him – drinking and smoking with his friends and chasing girls so that others would see him as cool. Skipping school and rarely doing his homework, his schoolwork suffered immensely.

In May 2012, Fidel was invited to attend a training organized by one of ECR’s partners, Needs Care. The training was aimed at equipping youth with knowledge and skills on how to protect themselves from HIV infection and to safeguard their reproductive health. With the knowledge he gained at the training, as well as the social support of a new community, many things in Fidel’s life changed. He stopped hanging out with the friends he thought were so cool. He stopped drinking, smoking and chasing girls and now spends more time doing his schoolwork and household chores. He has even started to attend church where the Needs Care Ministry is based. He knows that there will always be someone there at Needs Care to mentor him every time he feels lost.

I am so grateful for this training because my life has been transformed and I know I will achieve my goals.”

With the support of ECR, local churches around Zambia conduct trainings to reach out to their community with HIV/AIDS education and awareness.  Youth learn how to protect themselves from HIV and other dangers.  Parents learn how to talk to their children about sex and HIV.  Pastors and church leaders learn how to reduce stigma and raise awareness within their congregations.  At the beginning of its work in 2003, much of ECR’s efforts focused on providing immediate medical care to those who were deathly ill with HIV/AIDS and linking them to Anti Retroviral Treatments.  With communities becoming healthier and more productive again, ECR has now been able to focus on HIV prevention and stigma reduction through local churches.  HIV was once a silent issue within the church in Zambia, but has now been brought to the forefront by committed Christians who are choosing to love and serve their communities despite the consequences and reactions of others.

Leave a Reply

contact us

Expanded Church Response
House No. 3 Lagos Rd
Rhodes Park
P.O. Box 34691
Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone: +260 211 233 040
Mobile Phone: +260 977 771 076
Email: info@ecrtrust.org