Social Welfare DepartmentThe Social Welfare Department of the Moravian Church in Tanzania - South Province was officially founded in 2015. Although, the important work of HIV prevention and counselling, that is done by the its leaders, dates back to the year 2008 and was at that time under the supervision of the Women and Children Department. The documentary "Just Like You (Kama Wewe)" by director Nicholas Calvin Mwakatobe shows the incredible work of the department, whereas it focuses especially on the support-groups, named "Lusobilo" (Hope).
The project started in 2008, with the foundation of the first of these support-groups. The main goal of the groups is, that the people who live with HIV and Aids have a place to exchange, to talk about their problems and give each other advice on how to live with the disease. But the members also talk openly about the disease outside of the group, and encourage the people around them to get tested in order to prevent further spread of the disease. That is why our department also runs counselling and testing campaigns on a regular basis. Another very important aspect is to reduce the stigma around HIV and Aids that is prevailing in the society. In the past, people who were infected were treated really badly, because there was a huge misconception about the disease. This stigma led to a situation where people did not want to get tested because they were afraid of the outcome. Nowadays, through the work of the support-groups, people know that people who live with HIV and Aids are just like anybody else, and that they can live a good and positive life.
To this date, the department works in the whole area of the South Province, which comprises the districts of Rungwe and Busokelo, Kyela, Ileje and the Ruvuma and Njombe Mission Area. There are seven support-groups in this area, each one containing between 20 and 50 members. There is also one support-group especially for children who suffer from the disease.
Our main goals are
- To prevent the spread of HIV/Aids
- To support the people who live with HIV/Aids, so they can live a life in dignity
- To reduce the stigma in society around HIV/Aids
- Support-groups, where people who are living with HIV/Aids can talk about their problems and help each other
- Public counselling and testing campaigns
- Seminars about changing of behaviour, prevention of transmission, reduction of stigmatization, sexuality, cultural contribution to transmission of HIV
- Training of Trainers (TOT) - Seminars for people who then go back to their communities to hold seminars and inform the people there about HIV/Aids
- Seminars about income generating projects and entrepreneurship (economic advices) - Poverty is a major contributing factor to the spread of HIV. In our seminars we teach people about different ways to generate income and to start a business. Some examples are keeping and breeding livestock like chicken, pigs and goats, avocado plantation and bee keeping.
- Establishment of VICOBA (Village Community Banks), to support people who live with HIV/Aids in the foundation of their income generating projects
- Support the people who live with HIV/Aids with health insurance and advice on a healthy live. This includes a balanced diet with enough protein.
- Special support for children who live with HIV/Aids by providing them school materials, clothes and paying the transportation costs for going to the hospital and get medicine
- Special group counselling for children living with HIV/Aids to raise awareness about sexuality and challenges that they will face in society
- Meeting with caretakers of children who live with HIV/Aids, to raise awareness about the risks of the disease but also erase misconceptions and reduce the stigma around it. We also give them recommendations on crucial aspects they have to be aware of when raising children with HIV/Aids.
and prosperous community free from HIV and AIDS is possible, let us work
To provide high-quality HIV prevention, treatment and care services, guided by Christian values and principles. We respond to the needs of the people, by contributing to the improvement of social and economic development in the region, in order to have a meaningful impact to the good of society.
Head of Department: Melania Mrema Kyando (left)
Assistant: Liliane Emanuel Mlyuka (right)
Moravian Church in Tanzania - South Province
Social Welfare Department
P.O. Box 32
+255 763 471533
+255 764 934339