Kathmandu (Agenzia Fides) - Nepal's Christian youths commit to combat HIV and AIDS. As Agenzia Fides learns, a specific training course was organized by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and hosted by the National Council of Churches in Nepal (NCCN). Thirty-five young Christian youths from different parts of Nepal attended the training.
The youth motivation programme aimed at engaging young people through interactive participatory processes. Creative group works, contextual interpretation of the Bible and analysis of real-life situations helped the young participants to think outside their "comfort zones", and in particular, to raise awareness of the national AIDS program in Nepal. Youths were made aware of the impact of the spread of HIV on the population. The information shared at various sessions enabled the participants to understand the role of the Church and the Christian youth in responding effectively to HIV and AIDS.
Lack of awareness were the key factors that caused "stigma" and discrimination against HIV-positive people. "The youths should take the message beyond the walls of the Church and bring forth the healing touch of Jesus to those in pain and agony", said Aiman Singh Gurung, President of the NCCN.
Reflecting on the biblical narrative of the healing of the leper, Rev. Vinod Victor from the Church of South India emphasized the need for solidarity with people living in pain and agony. Christians have to follow the model of Jesus in compassion, and stretch out their hands and touch the marginalized.
Nirmala Gurung, a young Christian woman leader in Nepal who attended the training, expressed appreciation to CCA for addressing the very serious and important issue of HIV and AIDS which was not being talked about openly by the churches in Nepal, although the problem affected Nepalese society.
The action plans developed during the workshop will facilitate engagement with the youth to develop a proper strategy to involve more young people in advocacy and to reach the people in rural areas. The action plans also included the development of an advocacy strategy to demand services for testing, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV.
The youth motivation training held in Nepal is part of a series of programmes scheduled to engage Asian youths through CCA’s special programme ‘Acting Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia’ (ATCHAA).
According to the United Nations, since 2017 31,000 Nepalese adults and children have contracted the virus. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 26/6/2019)