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Spreading the message within the Jiwundu Settlement Scheme

Evans Masuwa educates locals about the global HIV epidemic using SFH materials.

We often forget just how fortunate many of us are to have easy and instant access to vital communication facilities: landlines, mobile phones, emails and post. For many of us, our local towns and villages have their own post office or telephone box. Yet for Mr Evans Masuwa (see photo), a mind-boggling round-trip of 270km (167 miles) is required each and every time he needs to send a letter or collect his post.

Evans lives and works at the Jiwundu Settlement Scheme in the Solwezi District of Zambia’s North Western Province. Aside from being one of 4,500 local small-scale farmers, Evans also works as a voluntary HIV/AIDS psychosocial counsellor, a coordinator of the community care givers, and as a volunteer within his local Catholic Church. Yet despite all of these pre-existing responsibilities, Evans still manages to make the time to collect the STRATEGIES FOR HOPE materials that we regularly send him, and then to facilitate training meetings, before providing us with critical feedback on a regular basis.

Evans wrote: “I found out about the STRATEGIES FOR HOPE (SFH) series in 1993, when I was working as a Zambia enrolled nurse in the home-based care department of the Chikuni Mission Hospital under the Sisters of Charity.” For almost 20 years since then, we have continued to supply Evans with SFH materials, so that he can continue to conduct training meetings in churches, schools or underneath trees.

One of the questions we ask in the CALLED TO CARE feedback form is about future plans for using these materials, to which Evans responded: “to encourage more community members to read them”, and that he will also encourage people to “share the information with others”. Possibly one of the most touching comments that he received from a church leader with regard to CALLED TO CARE workbook 7, Call to Me, was that he was “going to encourage people to care and love those with HIV”.

Evans is just one of many special people who use STRATEGIES FOR HOPE materials to help spread the vital message that HIV/AIDS is a subject that nobody should ignore nor feel ashamed to talk about.