Faith and Community Initiative Project
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)
Duration : 5 year
CHAM with support from Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is implementing a 5-year Faith and Community Initiative (FCI) project entitled; “Strengthening the Delivery, Coordination and Monitoring of HIV Services in Malawi through Faith Based Institutions”. The initiative has two strategic objectives, a) to engage communities of faith to reach men and children with testing services, understand the epidemic, and raise awareness and b) to strengthen justice for children through community leadership (i.e. Faith, Traditional and Schools).
CHAM is the prime recipient of the grant, and part of the funding is being sub granted to four (4) organizations having experience in working with communities of faith. The implementing partners (IPs) include; National AIDS Commission (NAC), Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association (MIAA), Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (MANERELA+) and Jhpiego.
The project is benefiting 5 HIV high burden districts of Blantyre, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Thyolo and Mzimba. To achieve its goals, the project is implementing different activities both at national, district and community levels. The activities include; training national and district level faith leaders in new HIV messages of hope to disseminate to their congregants, recruitment of HIV Diagnostic Assistants (HDAs) and Expert Clients to support HIV case finding among men and boys through targeted distribution of HIV Self-Testing Kits and linking clients to care, training of faith leaders in different curricula such (e.g. Voices against Stigma and Faith Matters Programme) in order to address stigma and faith healing challenges.
In 2020, some of the activities that were implemented include; Translation of HIV messages of hope into local languages for use in faith communities, faith leaders orientation on messages of hope and how to disseminate the messages horizontally through homilies/media/sermons, production of Radio and TV jingles for faith community engagement, CHAM Project Staff orientation on six (6) topics of Men Star Insights, orientation meetings with HIV Coordinators and facility in-charges in all the implementing districts/TAs on targeted HIV Self testing, linkage and retention in faith communities.