Thursday, October 19, 2006

Presbyterian Pastors Receive AIDS Training



News Archieve: PACCT Program Launched in Malawi

Pastoral And Congregational Care Training (PACCT) began in September in Malawi as part of the on-going relief and development efforts of CitiHope International—one of the ministries supported by Y-Malawi at Central Presbyterian Church.

Forty pastors and community leaders participated in the three-day PACCT Workshop, including: 20 Presbyterian ministers selected by the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa; four ministers from United Methodist, Assembly of God and Adventist churches; and representatives of the Malawi Ministry of Heath, Ministry of Education, National AIDS Commission, World Vision, and the Livingstonia Synod AIDS Program (LISAP).

The workshop was focused on curriculum development for what is projected to be a series of training events for pastors, spouses and lay leaders around the religious issues of HIV/AIDS in the congregations: transmission modes, prevention measures, stigma and discrimination, voluntary counseling and testing, appropriate pastoral and congregational care, and special protection of women and children.

Malawi has one of the highest incidence of HIV infection in Africa (25-33% of the population of 12 million), and has at least 800,000 AIDS orphans and abandoned children. CitiHope assists 40 social and church-sponsored institutions in providing high protein meals and needed medicine to 10,000 recipients in northern Malawi.

Dr. Moira Chimombo, Professor of Education at the University of Malawi (center), Dr. Andy Gaston, MD, Director of Livingstonia Synod AIDS Program (right), and Dr. Michael Christensen, Africa Regional Director for CitiHope (right), led and facilitated the PACCT Workshop in September.

Future PACCT trainings will be offered for Ministers’ Wives, Lay Leaders, Women’s Guild, and teachers of children and youth.