The Balm in Gilead - Focus

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The Tanzania HIV/AIDS Interfaith Partnership

Tanzania PartnershipJoining Pernessa Seele are: Archbishop Jude Tadeus Ruwa-Ichi, President, TEC; Bishop Peter Kitual, 1st Vice President, CCT; Sheikh Issa bin Shaaban Simba, Mufti of Tanzania; Sheikh Harith bin Khelef, Chief Mufti of Zanzibar.

Through its domestic and international initiatives, The Balm In Gilead has evidenced a deep sense of love, camaraderie and commitment between the organization and its faith partners throughout Africa. The Balm In Gilead and its partners maintain a commitment to God and to one another and a determination to impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic (and other health disparities such as Malaria, TB, cervical cancer, etc) that continues to ravage their communities.

The Tanzania HIV/AIDS Interfaith Partnership (TIP) initiative is managed by The Balm In Gilead. The overall goal is to contribute efforts to reduce prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The key objective is to expand the capacity of faith-based community organizations to become an effective force in the fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tanzania. The Balm In Gilead works in partnership with FBOs to develop and implement HIV prevention and impact mitigation programs in the country. Through the Tanzania Interfaith Partnership (TIP) initiative, it is supporting FBOs to mobilize their congregations to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic within their religious settings.

This is being accomplished by the capacity and infrastructure development of four national consortium faith partners to effectively deliver HIV prevention, encourage counseling and testing, and provide compassionate care of the most vulnerable affected by HIV/AIDS. The four faith partners are: Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC); Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT); The National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA); and The Chief Mufti’s Office of Zanzibar, along with their associated partner community-based networks. This consortium has developed a network of approximately 80 local faith-based organizations working and serving people within their local communities, especially rural villages and townships.

Since 2001, in cooperation with CDC/Tanzania, The Balm in Gilead has provided technical support to the national governing institutions of its present faith partners in areas that have included capacity building through HIV/AIDS advisory councils, human resource recruitment and organizational development training.

The Balm In Gilead’s work with faith communities contributes to the aim of The President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which calls for immediate, comprehensive and evidence-based action to reverse the trend of global HIV/AIDS. The program also addresses key priorities identified in Tanzania that respond to emerging needs, that seeks to integrate prevention with continuum of care, that monitors, evaluates and ensures quality of services, and that demonstrates likelihood of local community sustainability.

The program works in concert with other implementing partners and is principally guided by the Government of Tanzania’s Second National Multi-Sectoral Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS 2008-2012. Through the coordination and guidance of the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Control Program (NACP), TIP works to encourage district and community responses. Using the strategy to expand localized partners from NGOs, CBOs and Faith-Based Organizations, TIP helps them to develop their own long term responses toward prevention, care and support of HIV/AIDS. These responses are integrated with district and municipalities where comprehensive plans are developed, activated and constructively sustained at local community levels.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 December 2011 12:22