One year into the “Embrace AIDS” campaign, there is much to celebrate, reports the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).
More than 1,600 people and 230 churches across North America have responded to the call to help people affected by HIV/AIDS. The results of this growing movement can already be seen. As of October 2008, more than $2.1 million has been raised. This enabled CRWRC to start new AIDS programs in India, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa.
In Malawi, CRWRC is starting AIDS programs in an area where CRWRC and its partners have had very concentrated development work since 1999 but have not had a formal response to HIV/AIDS. Women in the community were taking care of the sick without training or medical supplies.
Thanks to revenue generated by the campaign, a CRWRC partner organization was able to hire Esther Perekarnovo (her last name means “give life”) as a project coordinator.
She identified almost 600 people needing home-based care and mobilized volunteers to start helping them. These volunteers are receiving training in counseling, nutrition, and providing medical assistance to those living with AIDS.
Despite this, the fund-raising campaign still has a long road ahead. CRWRC hopes to raise at least $3 million by June 30, 2009. For information on how to get involved, see www.embraceaids.org. Materials to help churches observe two minutes of silence for World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, can be found at www.crwrc.org.