When 19 church and community leaders came together for a CALLED TO CARE training workshop in a small town in southern Mozambique, they had no idea what to expect. After two days of intense discussions, however, every member of the group felt that they had experienced something which would change their lives for ever.
The workshop venue was the Wesleyan Methodist Church in the small town of Chokwe. Participants used the Portuguese editions of CALLED TO CARE workbook no. 2, Making it Happen, and no. 3, Time to Talk. They also found time to view the inspirational film, What can I do?, about the life and ministry of the Ugandan church leader, Canon Gideon Byamugisha.
The workshop came about through a collaborative effort by the local Methodist pastor (Rev Nelson Pene), Ms Talita Mahlalela and Mr Azarias Muchanga.
Mr Muchanga’s report (please click on the link to the report below) describes how the participants discussed sensitive topics which normally would be taboo in church circles. Mrs Milda Boca said: “Sometimes it is we, the society or church, that kill our brothers and sisters who are HIV-positive, or we make their illness worse because we tend to stigmatize them. We are not supportive of our brothers and sisters who are infected and affected by this pandemic, because instead of being supportive of them, we unveil their situation to everyone.”
Other topics discussed during the workshop included, for example, condoms, extra-marital sex, testing for HIV, violence in the home, and talking about sex with one’s children.
After presenting attendance certificates to the participants (see photo above), the Rev Nelson Pene encouraged the participants to make good use of all they had learned during the workshop: “Let us disseminate these lessons to others, who also need to learn,” he said.
See ... Making it Happen
See ... Time to Talk