207459 Sub-Saharan African Faith Based Collaborative (SSA FBC): A Public Health Initiative Model

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Josephine Mogire, MA, MS , Africans for Improved Access (AFIA) Program, Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Jamaica Plan, MA
Victoria Nayiga, MA , Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell, MA
Chioma Nnaji, MPH M Ed , Africans for Improved Access, Multi Cultural AIDS Coalition, Jamaica Plan, MA
Karen Peugh, BS , HIV Department, Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell, MA
Lisa Najarian, LMHC , Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell, MA
The Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC)/Africans for Improved Access (AFIA) Program and Lowell Community Health Center's (LCHC) HIV Program, have built upon an existing grassroots foundation to develop a workable faith-based public health initiative, the Sub-Saharan African Faith Based Collaborative (SSA FBC).

SSA FBC was birthed in 2006 to engage Sub –Saharan African organizations of faith in HIV prevention and education. AFIA and LCHC provided technical assistance and culturally sensitive support to the churches that were interested in serving their members and community around issues related to HIV/AIDS. As part of this collaborative each church identified a HIV service, such as HIV prevention and education workshops; Resource dissemination; HIV counseling and testing services; Development of an ongoing HIV ministry within your congregation. Members of the collaborative met monthly to assess individual needs and developments. Seven faith organizations participated in Phase 1. They hosted national HIV/AIDS observances and incorporated messages during worship services centering on HIV/AIDS and other health disparities for their congregations. Utilizing, the above experience, the seven initial churches offered mentorship and consultation with the newly recruited FBOs, aiming to ignite interest, as well as strategically demonstrating best practices. To date the SSA FB Collaborative is advancing into phase II of the collaborative, having now engaged 13 new SSA faith organizations from a broader geographical region, diverse congregation of African origin, and several faiths communities.

The success of the Sub-Saharan African Faith Based Collaborative developed a method to work with Brazilian churches in the Greater Lowell Area.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session participants will be able to: o List several ideas on how to engage with local immigrant faith based organizations o Describe how to build effective relationships between community health centers, AIDS-serving community based organizations, and immigrant faith based organizations o List ways to design practical and measurable plans in collaboration with immigrant faith based organizations

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Victoria has extensive experience in the planning, coordinating and faciliating of HIV/AIDS community work. Specifically, she has been a lead in the implementation of faith based HIV work within the Sub-Saharan African communities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.