HIV Dislosure – church family

HIV was first known to be a killer disease. Arguably that’s the reason why it’s still scary to most people because of how it was introduced to the world – a deadly pandemic. Fear was immediately attached to HIV making people, world over afraid of getting it. Even decades later, there are still people who are frightened to the bone about HIV. Just the word scares many off.

The sad truth is everyone globally it’s either you are affected or infected by HIV and that’s a good enough reason for people to let the guard down a bit. In a WhatsApp conversation I had with a follower from Pretoria, we spoke about fasting vs ARV. After sharing with her my expert opinion, I ask this follower to pray about it coupled with talking to a youth pastor from church. Just by the response, I later realised that, the religious sector in Southern Africa still has a discriminatory stereotype against people living with HIV.

2016-01-28-14.16.02.png.png

Shockingly, church leaders and congregates wear the adulterous spectacle owing to the believe that HIV is one of the-so-called incurable deadly disease that God sent as punishment to the world for sinning. Am disgusted by this attitude honestly.

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Back to the agenda of this blogspot, allow me to share the steps one should take when disclosing their HIV status to someone in church esp the pastor. Please note, from the extensive research I did, I managed to combine points to come up with this.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Here are some things to think about when you’re considering telling someone that you’re HIV-positive:

  • Know why you want to tell them. What do you want from them?
  • Anticipate their reaction. What’s the best you can hope for? The worst you might have to deal with?
  • Prepare by informing yourself about HIV disease. You may want to leave articles or a hotline phone number for the person you tell.
  • Get support. Talk it over with someone you trust, and come up with a plan.
  • Accept the reaction. You can’t control how others will deal with your news.

All that matters at the end of the day is that, you become a free bird once you share with your church family.

I love it when I write for change, for impact, for empowerment.
For feedback, views and comments hit me up – anytime- on my WhatsApp number 00263 736268067

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Call for Zimbabwe Youth Community Champions (Bulawayo)

Are you aged between 15 and 30 years? Are you passionate about ending child marriage? Would you like to be recognized as a Youth Community Champion to #endchildmarriage?

The Rising Birds Project, with support from Women Deliver, is calling on Bulawayo youth from all fields (students, teachers, church-members, journalists, musicians, models, designers, pastors, entrepreneurs, volunteers, politicians, soldiers, police, drivers, and more)

Join the movement to end child marriage by becoming a recognized Youth Community Champion today. Tell us what you are willing to do to help end child marriage in your community, whether big or small. You can make a difference and we will help you make it.

 

SOURCE: End Child Marriage in Zimbabwe (facebook page)

SOURCE: End Child Marriage in Zimbabwe (facebook page)

YCCs will receive free training on ending child marriage and receive technical support and other resources to facilitate their activities. They will also be featured on our various social media platforms, and their work amplified globally through various global platforms.

Send us a written response (no word limit) answering the following questions:

1. Tell us about yourself (age, gender, location, occupation, skills, etc.)
2. What do you think is fueling child marriages in your area?
3. What are you willing to do to address this challenge?
4. How many people are you targeting to reach through your activity? (Number of males and females, and ages?)
5. In which area(s) do you plan to carry out your activity in?
Social media campaigns

  • Enabling young mothers to return to school.
  • Providing life-skills and livelihoods training for adolescent girls and boys.
  • Engaging community members in dialogue on child marriage (churches, parents associations, traditional leaders)
  • Building the capacity of young people to address child marriage in their communities.
  • Engaging media houses to increase reporting on child marriage cases and issues.
  • Creating community structures to support reporting and monitoring of child marriage cases.
  • Creating audio and visual material as IEC on ending child marriage (documentaries, videos, posters, online banners, pamphlets, etc.)
  • Engage policy makers (MPs) to amend laws on child marriage
  • Conducting research on child marriage
  • Writing blogs and newspaper articles on child marriage.
  • Other (specify)

6. On what dates do you plan to carry out your activity?
7. Have been involved in any activities to end child marriage before? (Reducing teenage pregnancy, advocacy, peer     education, life-skills and livelihoods, etc),
If yes please describe briefly.

Submit your name and contact details and let us know what you plan to do to help end child marriage in your community? We encourage you to submit new ideas or ideas under development that have not been fully implemented yet.

Submit a short essay responding to the above questions to info@dotyouthorg.net or drop them off at SoulDeep Internet Café (inside Ruffcuts hair saloon), shop No.2 Nicoz House building, Cnr. 8th Ave and Fort Street.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 22 July at 11:59pm CAT and this initial phase of the YCC campaign will run until the 30th of August 2015.

Call for Applications: Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program

Woke up this morning to this email. I love you all and I would greatly share this with you all.

Source: US Embassy Harare

Source: US Embassy Harare

Recognizing the great work many of you are doing in your communities, the U.S. Embassy would like to make sure everyone knows about the small-scale funding opportunities available through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program.

PURPOSE
The SSH Program provides grants to assist small-scale community development projects that improve basic economic or social conditions at the village level.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be a registered, non-governmental, non-profit, or community-based organization.
  • The organization must be entirely Zimbabwean and its members must be Zimbabwean citizens.
  • The grants typically range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Grantees must complete their projects within 12 months of signing the grant agreement.

PROCESS
Submissions are accepted year round; however, we just released an updated Call for Proposals.

APPLICATIONS
Guidelines and the application templates are posted on the updated website, under the Resources tab:
http://harare.usembassy.gov/us_embassys_small_grant_funding_opportunities.html

Feel free to pass this information and the website link along to any registered organizations that are making an impact at the community level.  We look forward to receiving excellent project proposals!

Kind regards,

Julie Lohela Blitzer
Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program Coordinator
U.S. Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263-4-250-593 ext: 4821
Email: BlitzerJL@state.gov

Call for gender papers

Call for expressions of interest in funding to present papers at the Law and Society Association Conference, New Orleans, June 2-5, 2016 and International Conference on Law and Society, Mexico City, June 20-23, 2017 on “Gender, Development, and Fiscal/Economic Equality: International, Regional, and Domestic Justice Issues” Sponsored by International Sociolegal Feminisms (FemLaw), a collaborative research network of the Law and Society Association (CRN38).

** Submit expressions of interest to organizers by July 16, 2015 **

International Sociolegal Feminisms (FemLaw) is a collaborative research network of the Law and Society Association (LSA). FemLaw is seeking expressions of interest in presenting papers in its program at two interdisciplinary international conferences being sponsored by the Law and Society Association: the New Orleans LSA conference (June 2-5, 2016) and the Mexico City International Conference on Law and Society (June 20-23, 2017). Early expressions of interest are particularly sought from scholars in developing, emerging, and transition economy countries – the LSA will provide travel and accommodation funding for such scholars to enable them to participate in these conferences.

FemLaw wishes to nominate scholars, researchers, and policy analysts who are engaged in ongoing multinational and interdisciplinary work on economic/fiscal equalities and who are residents of low and medium income countries for this LSA funding program. Membership in the LSA is not required.

Participants or groups interested in addressing any of the following types of domestic, regional, or international fiscal or economic issues from gender, race, indigenous, cultural, economic class, disability, development, and/or migration perspectives should contact us right away:

  • economic gender equality – challenges, barriers, achievements, impact analysis
  • gender budget issues and government austerity policies
  • revenues for human rights
  • tax policy or law
  • Indigenous economic security, development, and gender
  • gender dimensions of tax haven and offshoring policies
  • financing for development * oil/mining/gas revenue issues and more general ‘special economic zone’ issues  IMF, World Bank, and/or EU conditionalities
  • cultural analysis of fiscal discourses
  • continued effects of the 2008/9 international financial crisis
  • income inequalities, and, in particular, women and poverty
  • overseas development aid and financing for development issues, realities, trends
  • environmental sustainability issues, including climate change and warming Arctic
  • gender equality and armed conflict
  • paid and unpaid work
  • gender identities and economic status
  • pay equity, employment equity, and precaritized incomes
  • women’s access to capital and business investment, pensions

Who is eligible to be considered for FemLaw nomination for LSA funding?

FemLaw will accept expressions of interest from those working in any disciplines – not just law! And, very importantly, scholars or investigators working at any level and in any type of institutional setting are sought  gender/development/equaltiy work occurs in many sites, and knowledge about and/or produced in all types of sites is essential to full understanding of this complex area of investigation. Examples of those who are eligible to be considered for FemLaw’s program: undergraduate and graduate students; new scholars; those working in regional/local/international governmental or non-governmental organizations of all types; consultants; professional practitioners; members of informal or formal community groups; independent scholars; members of research or advocacy institutes.

If in doubt as to eligibility, the organizers will be pleased to advise! FemLaw needs to identify those it will nominate for LSA conference funding by July 16, 2015. There is no limit how many nominations may be made. FemLaw’s nominations will be included in a funding proposal being filed by the LSA International Research Collaborations Committee with the US National Science Foundation, and FemLaw will also seek supplementary funding.

All expressions of interest should be sent to Kathleen Lahey at kal2@queensu.ca, and cc to klahey99@gmail.com Copies may be submitted to co-organizers Ann Mumford ann.mumford@kcl.ac.uk and/or Asa Gunnarsson asa.gunnarsson@umu.se – but all submissions should go to K. Lahey as above in order to ensure that none are lost due to time zone or communication issues. For the country income classifications being used by the LSA, see http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/CLASS.XLS DON’T MISS OUT

Power to the vagina… FINALLY

It has been said countless of time that one of the contributory factors regarding the spread of HIV in Zimbabwe are gender imbalances. Women are not bold enough to negotiate for safe sex. It is up to the men to decide whether a condom is used or not. In the few instances when women do carry the condom, the men will deem them promiscuous. Besides, back in the day, women carrying condoms where charged for prostitution and a condom would be used as “evidence”. So with all these stereotypes associated with having a condom as a woman or having the guts to negotiate for safer sex, have continued to dog women drastically.

AN example of a microbicide (credit: nature.com)

AN example of a microbicide (credit: nature.com)

As a means to empower women all across the glob sexually, a “solution” is on the pipeline. Microbicides is the bullet proof to dodge HIV, without the stress of having used a condom or not during sex. The term microbicides refers to substances being studied that could be used in the vagina o reduce the risk of HIV infection via sexual exposure. Currently, there are no licensed microbicides available today. But, hey, all we need is girl power to advocate for its licencing.

Microbicides can come in a number of forms like vaginal rings that release the active ingredient over a few weeks or months; creams; gels; films; suppositories that could be used vaginally.

Are there any trials going on or trials have been done?

Yes. At the moment, there are ongoing trials of vagina ring containing the ARV drug (dapivirine) that is designed to be inserted for four weeks at a time. These trials are known as “The Ring Study” and “Aspire” and they are expected to have data in 2016.

Aspire (MTN 020) was launched by the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) has enrolled 2 629 women in Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Results are expected towards the end of 2015 or early next year. the ring study (IPM 027), sponsored by the International partnership for Microbicides (IPM) is enrolling 1 950 women in Uganda and South Africa. We should be expected in late 2016.

Additionally, the vagina microbicide (one percent) gel is the ARV drug tenofovir (TFV) formulated in gel form. There have been three efficacy trials of this gel. The first CAPRISA 004 found evidence of modest benefit. Two subsequent trials, VOICE and FACTS 001 found no overall evidence of protection. However in both trials there was evidence that in small subset of women who were able to use the product correctly and consistently (the two trials had different dosing regimens), the gel did reduce the risk of HIV acquisition. But the overall finding from two out of three trials was that this product wasn’t one that women could use enough of the time to achieve the potential benefits. The results of these trials underscore the need to ensure that “the healthy choice is the easy choice” and that women initiated HIV prevention includes strategies that can fit into the lives of women at the greatest risk of HIV.

Loopholes

Microbicides DO NOT prevent against STIs and STD, pregnancies or any other infections that poses as a threat to the vagina. Meaning to say, it is not a multi purpose prevention method Its sole purpose is to prevent the transmission of HIV as there are recommendations to uses condom.

It’s women empowerment right there

Such trials can only allow for licensing if they are attract a 70+ percent success rate. I can only keep my fingers crossed for the success of the above trials. Just prevention methods give women the power to control the spread of HIV. Gaps on gender imbalances are closed. Women don’t even say a word about negotiating for safe sex. The women just do it and BOMB, they are protected. The vagina is empowered all the way.

Fasting VS ARVs

About two weeks ago, I joined the rest of the church in a one week fast. It wasn’t easy cause we had to break after evening prayers which usually ended after 7pm. Yes so imagine, while I had to starve my flesh of food, I was feeding my spirit with the word of God. In serious cases, congregates can stretch for a month long fast or even pull for 40 days and 40 nights fasting just like Jesus. Remember?

Image taken from youtube.com

Image taken from youtube.com

Now today, something crossed my mind, and I certainly hope you will help out. During that church fast weeks ago, how did people taking antiretrovirals and multivitamins go about it? In most cases, it is a requirement that these pills are taken with water or food. Common to most religions, fasting starts from dawn to dusk. Is it healthy for someone on HIV treatment to fast every day for weeks to fulfil spiritual and religious obligations?

Ugly baby left me in stitches

This morning in the kombi on my way into town, a pretty looking woman sat in front of me. While I was still trying to process the fact that she was indeed way more beautiful than I, her son began to fidget. Seeing how irritated the mother was, I decided to take a peep. Yoweeee, boy oh boy!! Damn the lad was ugly. “Sonny, behave, chumaa hawu,” she said to the ugly duckling. As a move to blackmail the mother, the child started to cry. I burst out into laughter, gees, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. This child became worse. His ugliness was enhanced that very moment he restructured his  facial muscles to cry. He just become uglier. (kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, looooools)

http://www.google.co.zw/imgres?imgurl=http://thumpandwhip.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cry-baby.jpg&imgrefurl=http://forum.ebaumsworld.com/archive/index.php/t-341899.html&h=377&w=500&tbnid=lm1j6W5MNASuzM:&zoom=1&docid=2Ocw9gJanFB3GM&ei=n21xVfTuAaSC7gbug4O4DA&tbm=isch&ved=0CBoQMygAMAA

forum.ebaumsworld.com

Well, for someone that pretty, I surely expected a handsome son too. This little boy almost two and a half or three, Maiiweeee, I was left in stitches. There he sat on his mother’s lap, with his face shining maybe because of the vaseline applied on his face (that could be justified, its winter and vaseline is most ideal for infants). He had big eyes popped out, tiny mouth, huge head and for me the big nose was a bonus.

I began to ponder, what could have made this child born from a beautiful woman ugly? Maybe he is the direct photocopy of his dad (assuming the father is ugly too) but what if he is not too ugly a person. Probably what they say about sperms having a bearing on the overall screen saver of the child could have somewhat factored in. Studies say there are different kinds of sperm, the one that makes you have good looking kids, not so good looking kids, average looking kids and the ugly ones.

Yes, I don’t not have a child. I do want to be a mother one day, and I want to have good looking off springs – to say the least. Am not saying I have the perfect gene of diluting the ugly sperm of the father (assuming -off course – that the spouse would be ugly), or  that I am immune to being a victim of bearing ugly ducklings. Excuse me for my behaviour, but that boy’s ugliness made my day. HA HA HA for days.

ICFP Youth Video Contest—deadline: June 5, 2015

a call

The ICFP Youth Video Context was launched in 2013 to invite young people ages 18 to 25 to serve as speakers and/or moderators on youth-focused and other sessions at the 2013 conference. It was a great success, and the conference organizers are again inviting young people to create videos demonstrating their passion for family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Young people who submit winning videos will have conference registration and travel costs covered, and will play an essential role in providing a youth perspective to the program.

For more information, please click here to review the application guidelines. A flyer can also be downloaded. The deadline is June 5, 2015. The application form will be available shortly.

Watch some of the 2013 videos for inspiration!
· Ahmed Al-Khatary, Yemen
· Burcu Buzkurt, United States
· Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu, India
· Israel Oluwaseyidayo Idris, Ukraine
· Catherine Bongka Baye, Cameroon
· Maria Angelica Botero, Colombia
· Isaiah Owolabi, Nigeria

To view more winning videos from the 2013 contest, visit http://fpconference.org/2013/youth/.
Questions? Please contact youth@fpconference.org.

In Two Days

Though many may argue and say women’s month is only celebrated in March mainly because of the International Women’s Day. I choose to celebrate it in May. This is for the women that chose and set time aside to mentor, inspire, motivate, and encourage others for the tree of sisterhood to grow.

Amongst many, I zoom in on one. I have only know her through google or come across her name her and there. But when I was privileged with the opportunity to actually interact and socialise with her during the Her Zimbabwe five day training for young women from the 26th to the 30th. On the first two days, I was able to jot down inspirational quotes from Her Zimbabwe Director while learning as well.  I can only say I am inspired – to say the very least. I have been able to learn so much in two days. With out her knowledge,  I gathered 20 inspirational quotes from Fungai, in the past two days. So come “think with me.”

1. Be the someone who works hard at impressing yourself to yourself. Stop doing stuff because you expect compliments from others. Impress yourself.

Fungai Mahirori {https://www.tumblr.com/search/fungai%20machirori)

Fungai Mahirori {https://www.tumblr.com/search/fungai%20machirori)

2. If you do something you are serious about, things will definitely fall into place. Life will always reward consistency and hard work.

3. Time is more important than any kind of money. Time means the world. So you dont just give people time.

4. When you think too much about something, you won’t do it.

5. I can’t say I am better than anyone but certainly as for the company I have – I streamline.

6. There are just those people you should never be around. If you start moving up they start pulling you down.

7. You have to look out for yourself. You can suffer for other people who won’t do the same for you.

8. There are people who will encourage you, accept you and you will know the difference. You are guided by these people.

youthaward.org

youthaward.org

9. How big your mind is, inspires how your world can be.

10. If you want to get somewhere, you have to find friends like these (supportive ones).

11. If you want to get somewhere, you really need a person who you will ask “Have I lost my plot?” You need someone to be your guide.

12. There are always tings that exist. Now its all about what doesn’t exist – then you fill up the space.

13. If you just start where you know then you grow. That’s the best thing than to bite off what u can’t chew.

14. The essence of blogging is to be able to have an opinion about something and express it.

15. The point is to start from a point where you have a level of authority about what you are talking about.

16. You just need to write about what you think about. A thought – express it, argue it.

17. Starting where you are is the most important thing.

herzimbabwe.co.zw

herzimbabwe.co.zw

18. People older than us, stand on our way. When you become too clever they don’t wanna work with you. They want the shy ones. We need to break that system.

19. Write about things that come naturally to you.

20. The essence is to be able to have an opinion about something and express it.