Kukhany'Okusha Zion Church (KZC)
The escalating number of people infected by HIV/AIDS in the church and local communities prompted the Kakhany'Okusha Zion Church (KZC) leaders to organize a workshop where women leaders in the church were trained to on how to love and care for the people in the church and community who are living with HIV and AIDS.
A separate workshop was held at the same location to educate youth in the community.
The Women Leaders workshop was held at the Mbabane church youth center in Mbabane November 15 - 17, 2007. Women converged from the three regions of Kukhany'Okusha in Swaziland.
The Lady Bishop S. Dlamini welcomed the women and encouraged them to learn and take the workshop seriously because women, who often are caregivers, are directly confronted with the situation of HIV and AIDS. He also thanked the women for attending in large numbers and was optimistic that there would be changes in the churches with regard to love and caring for the infected and affected.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- To train and empower women on HIV/AIDS-related issues
- To train them on home-based care and support to those living with HIV
- To educate them on mother to child HIV prevention
- To sensitize and teach women on the administration of estates
- To train them on leadership skills and devise a system to support the church's pastors
- To train women on entrepreneurship in order to be financially empowered and help the orphaned and vulnerable children
The youth workshop was held on November 28, 2007 and focused on:
- Awareness of HIV and AIDS
- Opening the lines of communication between parents and children
- The importance of HIV and AIDS testing
- Uniting the KZC youth in Swaziland
- Life skills
Workshop facilitators faced several challenges during the workshop due to financial limitations. However, the workshop was an overall success. One participant said, I enjoyed most the empowerment of the youth in the face of HIV and AIDS. When is another workshop going to be hosted?
The following must take place in order for the program to continue:
- Regional workshops to disseminate HIV/AIDS information to all young people of the KZC in Swaziland
- Development of an HIV-Awareness Club for KZC Youth
- Decentralize responsibilities to all young people in the various church branches
- Partake in National events aimed to fight HIV and AIDS
- Assist the communities around our churches in the eradication of HIV/AIDS and poverty
- Build a strong network for youth within the church branches.