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World Relief HIV/AIDS
“World Relief has taught us to love and accept those with HIV/AIDS. In the past, many people in the churches had a bad attitude towards those with AIDS. It was an unloving attitude. It did not speak of compassion at all. But now that is changing; the Church is accepting them and loving them.”– Pastor Sylvain Exantus, Haiti
World Relief is at the forefront in the battle against AIDS. Our work has been praised by First Lady Laura Bush who visited one of our partner churches in Africa in 2005.
Our comprehensive strategy focuses on mobilizing local churches at the grassroots level to effectively educate about AIDS, teach abstinence and marital fidelity, model Christian values, fight stigma, and care for those affected by AIDS.
An important part of our effort centers on equipping and mobilizing local congregations to look after orphans, widows and the vulnerable, as the Bible commands. Our easy-to-follow Hope at Home
manual gives helpful advice to those caring for the sick at home. The pictographic manual is so easy to use that children and adults who cannot read or write can still effectively follow the visual directions.
We believe the combination of pre-marital abstinence and marital fidelity is the best way – God’s way – to prevent the spread of AIDS. World Relief’s church-centered Mobilizing Youth for Life
program trains local “animators” to promote the biblical values of abstinence and marital fidelity among youth in churches, schools and youth groups.
Youth are invited to take the “purity pledge,” a commitment to abstinence and fidelity, within a supportive framework of their peers. Our Christian instructors emphasize it’s a voluntary commitment, with no pressure and no strings attached.
So far, we have recorded tens of thousands of these commitments in the core program countries of Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Haiti, resulting in significant behavioral change. We aim to reach 1.8 million youth by 2009.