Agents of Change Launch Book 2

Fikelela Aids Project hosted the launch of Agents of Change Book 2 on 7th October 2017, at St Peter’s Mowbray. An invitation was extended to the Dioceses of False Bay and Saldanha Bay.  The day started with Praise and Worship and the band in attendance was from the Church of the Holy Spirit Heideveld.  Music is always a wonderful resource and tool to set the scene to bring about joy and inspiration.  We thank God for the ‘Agents of Change’ who play in the band.

Our Coordinator, Beverley Hendricks read out a letter from Archbishop Thabo, which endorsed that the church as a community of teaching, compassion and care, should step in to fill the gap, not only to provide accurate information but also to assist young people to explore, consider, question, affirm and develop their own feelings, attitudes and values.  The Church’s moral and spiritual teaching can be an effective resource in forming and changing social behaviour.  Embracing the theme of “engage, educate and empower” we trust that the resources provided by this project may bring about the change that we want to see in our society and in the world.

Our keynote speaker was Bishop Garth Counsell. He said today is an important and exciting occasion, despite the unexpected delay with the availability of Book 2. The Agents of Change program is a key and strategic part of our outreach and ministry as Fikelela.  Why?  The youth level is where we can have the biggest impact and where a positive difference can be made in terms of prevention.   Bishop Garth commented on a statistic that he shared at the AGM that “South Africa has a 1000 new cases identified daily and is the ONLY country where HIV infections are on the increase” – this is frightening.

Our adopted theme = ENGAGE, EDUCATE, EMPOWER – reminds us of rugby’s “crouch, bind, set…    It’ all about engaging.

The exciting fact about the content of Book 2 is that it reflects the expressed needs identified by the young people. This is imperative because this is the age group identified as ‘high risk’.  We have chosen to engage and use the Peer Group dynamic positively. This resource will provide the opportunity for churches to support Fikelela in the ongoing and essential war versus HIV and AIDs.  This is a resource for ACTION! The successful use of it depends on the roll out in parishes.  You can be an agent of change through your participation.

In attendance we had about 66 people and each participant received a red draw string bag with big bold print ‘AGENTS OF CHANGE’. Its contents included a note book, pen and the resource ‘Our Church has AIDS’. On completion of the manual it will be personally delivered to each participant.

The workshops conducted were Social Media facilitated by Whitney, Bullying facilitated by Claudia, and Behaviour Management facilitated by Tiaan.  Each participant was offered the opportunity to be present at each workshop.

The strength of this workshop model enabled everyone to be able to share what they had experienced that day.

The topics for the new book are:  Addictive behaviours, Anti-social behaviour, Bullying, Child Molestation, Cliques, Coming out, Dealing with divorce, Getting along with your parents, Healthy and Unhealthy relationships, Parents with addiction, Peer Pressure, Suicide, Talking to your child about Pornography, Teen Violence,  Teenagers and Social Media.

We shared lunch which is always a good time to network and socialize.

At our plenary session it was good to hear young people saying ‘thank You’ to Fikelela for hosting the event and for being pro-active with creating opportunities to engage, educate and empower young people.

A special word of thanks to Bishop Garth and his wife Marion for attending the event, clergy, diocesan Staff , the Noluthando support group for assisting with the registration and Heart FM Radio Station presenter Mr Aden Thomas for popping and sharing his experience around social media with the young people.

The event would not have been made possible without the assistance of our donor National Lotteries Commission.  A wonderful opportunity to put into action “be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Fikelela Team

About the author: Natasha Pakoe