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Churches in Mozambique using ‘What can I do?’

The SFH film, What can I do?, has been distributed to churches all over Mozambique.

The Mozambique HIV/AIDS Christian Network has included What can I do? - O Que Posso Fazer in Portuguese - in its programme, ‘Good Practices and Attitudinal Change’.  The programme is supported financially by the National AIDS Council of Mozambique.  Specially trained local church leaders have been using the video with their congregations and communities.

3,000 copies of the Portuguese version of the video and of the facilitator’s guide have been distributed to churches in every province throughout the country.  Moreover, 500 copies of the video and the guide have been produced in three local languages - Changana, Sena and Macua.  By the start of 2007, a total of 4,500 copies of the video and the facilitator’s guide were in circulation in Mozambique.  To facilitate this process, the National AIDS Council has also provided 140 video players and television sets.

In the Diocese of Niassa, in the north of the country, Pastor Crispin from the local Anglican Church says that the video has changed the way people look at AIDS:

Octavio Mabunda (right) manager of the Christian HIV/AIDS Network, is in charge of the programme.

“We have been looking at HIV/AIDS as a result of sin and a punishment from God.  After watching Rev Gideon on the video our attitude changed, and we began encouraging people in our churches to have the test to know their HIV status.”

Pastor Luis Pinto Ndewe, leader of a Reformed Church congregation in Tete Province, Central Mozambique, says:

“We have shown the video in communities.  One profound effect it had was that 45 men and 50 women went for a blood test to know their HIV status.”

The manager of the Christian AIDS Network, Octavio Mabunda, is highly appreciative of the support provided by the National AIDS Council and of the openness of local churches:

“We thank God for the impact of What can I do? within the churches and the community.  We have witnessed a great transformation in their responses to the HIV epidemic.  The churches are taking up their role as agents of transformation.”

For more information about the work of the Mozambique HIV/AIDS Christian Network (Rede Cristão contra HIV/SIDA), please visit their website: www.rchs.org.mz