Member Spotlight: CANA Print {sharethis label=}
“HIV/AIDS is an opportunity for the Church today to fulfill the Biblical mandate of ‘feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, cover the naked, and visit the sick and those who are in prison, including the prison of discrimination and stigma,’” said S. (Sam) Samraj, executive director of the Christian AIDS/HIV National Alliance in New Delhi, India. “Churches can have multiple programmatic responses to HIV/AIDS, however, the most important role the Church can play in the response is to provide the message of hope for this life and eternity.” Samraj highlights the importance of a non-judgmental attitude that shares Christ-like unconditional love to people living with HIV/AIDS, no matter how they were infected with the virus, as explained in 1 Corinthians 13.
“When Jesus explained the final judgment, He said, not as parable, but as prophecy, that what you do for the ‘least of these people’, you have done unto me, and I’m sure he would include people living with HIV/AIDS,” explained Samraj.
The Christian AIDS/HIV National Alliance (CANA) is a network of churches, church-based agencies, and Christian practitioners engaged in the Christian response to HIV/AIDS in India. CANA provides networking opportunities, capacity building, advocacy, program facilitation and consultancy services with a Christian perspective. The organization strives to help churches and related organizations develop sensitive and effective responses to HIV/AIDS.
CANA is currently working with a few clusters of churches to involve them in its "Church and Community Mobilization Process" (CCMP) to help congregations respond to HIV/AIDS in neighboring communities. According to Samraj, CANA is expanding the program to northern India, where there are increasing rates of HIV infection.
Through its "Love Your Neighbor with AIDS" training program, CANA has trained hundreds of church leaders to respond to HIV/AIDS, while CANA’s Value Based Education program prepares church youth leaders to reach out to adolescents and young adults through churches and schools in other areas. CANA also advocates for children living with HIV/AIDS and approximately 20 church-based agencies are currently being supported through CANA in the north and northeastern states in India.
CANA works with a number of other organizations in its HIV/AIDS outreach work. "We partner with agencies such as the4/14 Movement (a Christian organization reaching out to children between 4 and 14 years of age), Holistic Child Development IndiaAWANA ClubsIndia Mission Association and the Micah Network to engage and encourage a Christian response toward HIV/AIDS," explained Samraj.
CANA has also developed materials on HIV/AIDS and related issues that are Biblically based, and technically sound to be used by its members, networks, Churches, church-based agencies and to the Christian community at large. Learn more about CANA
Pictured above is a bible study from CANA's Church and Community Mobilization Process in August 2013 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:19 )