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Asia and the Pacific Regional Forum on Strengthening Partnerships with Faith-Based Organisations in Addressing ICPD, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 May, 2008. A report on the conference proceedings.
[New York, New York], United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2008. 60 p.Building on a legacy spanning three decades, UNFPA Country Offices in the Asia-Pacific region and their faith-based partners came together for a two-day consultation to assess the nature and impact of these partnerships in the areas of maternal health, gender equality, migration and youth welfare. This report documents the experiences and lessons learned from the varied initiatives of faith-based organizations, as well as the best practices emanating from these strategic alliances around the region. The discussions, recommendations for action and the many voices of critical faith-based actors, are all documented in this report.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2007.  p.The influence behind faith-based organizations is not difficult to discern. In many developing countries, FBOs not only provide spiritual guidance to their followers; they are often the primary providers for a variety of local health and social services. Situated within communities and building on relationships of trust, these organizations have the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviours of their fellow community members. Moreover, they are in close and regular contact with all age groups in society and their word is respected. In fact, in some traditional communities, religious leaders are often more influential than local government officials or secular community leaders. Many of the case studies researched for the UNFPA publication Culture Matters showed that the involvement of faith-based organizations in UNFPA-supported projects enhanced negotiations with governments and civil society on culturally sensitive issues. Gradually, these experiences are being shared across countries andacross regions, which has facilitated interfaith dialogue on the most effective approaches to prevent the spread of HIV. Such dialogue has also helped convince various faith-based organizations that joining together as a united front is the most effective way to fight the spread of HIV and lessen the impact of AIDS. This manual is a capacity-building tool to help policy makers and programmers identify, design and follow up on HIV prevention programmes undertaken by FBOs. The manual can also be used by development practitioners partnering with FBOs to increase their understanding of the role of FBOs in HIV prevention, and to design plans for partnering with FBOs to halt the spread of the virus. (excerpt)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):4-5.Saving lives is the paramount goal of all HIV programmes. Successful HIV prevention programmes utilize all approaches known to be effective, not implementing one or a few select actions in isolation. These include promoting sexual abstinence, fidelity among married couple and the use of condoms for those who are not in a position to abstain or be faithful. It also includes ensuring that injecting drug users have access to clean needles and syringes as well as programmes supporting them to stop drug use. The strategies also include assurance that HIV-positive pregnant women receive treatment to prevent HIV transmission to the child. These strategies (See insert) were endorsed by the UNAIDS board last year and provide the framework for re-energizing HIV prevention globally. (excerpt)
Contact. 2006 Aug; (182):2-3.A s early as 1986 the Executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) stated: to confess that churches as institutions have been slow to speak and to act, - that many Christians have been quick to judge and condemn many of the people who have fallen prey to the disease; and that through their silence, many churches share responsibility for the fear that has swept our world more quickly than the virus itself "and called on the churches to respond appropriately to the need for pastoral care, education for prevention and social ministry" . In September 1996, a landmark, comprehensive statement, the Impact of HIV/AIDS and the Churches' Response, was adopted by the WCC Central Committee on the basis of the WCC Consultative Group on AIDS study process. The statement clearly states that: Churches can do much to promote, both in their own lives and in the wider society, a climate of sensitive, factual and open exploration of the ethical issues posed by the pandemic. ... in accordance with theiremphasis upon personal and communal responsibility the churches' can promote conditions -- personal, cultural, and socioeconomic -- which support persons in making responsible choices. This requires a degree of personal freedom which is not always available: for example, women, even within marriage, may not have the power to say "no" or to insist on the practice of such effective preventive measures such as abstinence, mutual fidelity and condom use. (excerpt)