Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Youth Speak Out: United Methodist Youth Responding to the Challenges of HIV and AIDS

Young adult Global Justice Volunteers Africa participants wrote reflections on HIV and AIDS after their experiences volunteering with HIV/AIDs organizations in Kenya. Here are some of their prayers, letters, and poems. 


John Atoyo shares his experience with Global
Justice Volunteers. (photo by Gabriel G. Mungai)
No one can deny
That a united people
Will never miss what they want
For it doesn't matter
Whether we are in Africa, Asia or the US
But imagine, all in one mission
And showing justice, mercy, and love to everyone
Yes! You can't separate them.

Today is our power.
Why wait for tomorrow.
And we know our mission
Is to make disciples of Jesus Christ
For the transformation of the world.
Give hope, life, to the rejected.
Together we can do
Great things as simple things.

John Odhiambo Atoyo, Kenya

Public Notice
HIV and AIDS have seriously claimed the lives of people in Kenya, leaving some dead in the streets, some dropped out of school, and some physically challenged. Stigmatization, discrimination, and tribalism have become the order of the day. People die of hunger; children and mothers have been abandoned by husbands and society. "HIV/AIDS is not man-made."

We need to intervene in this ugly situation to help save the lives of innocent souls. Remember "different culture, but one people." Let's stop the attitude of "it concerns not me" but unite together in this big fight because no one knows what tomorrow may bring, and that God requires us to love one another, and Christ died for our sins without any discrimination. With Jesus being the center of our foundation, we will succeed together in solidarity, and let's use the energy we have now to go forth and conquer. Remember, your actions will create a big impact in the lives of people. Think about it and act now.

Florence Kadie Lassayo, Sierra Leone

Rev. Kat Sal Nenette leads the group in 
singing. (photo by Gabriel G. Mungai) 

Letter to Women

I'm praying the Almighty God to help women who are always being discriminated against, rejected, and dishonored in the society.

O God, women are always the subject of discrimination, and their voices are not listened to by people in the community. Women don't have the right to talk and share their ideas with others. They are always rejected and affected. God, you are the only one who can fight against this. They are marginalized by others.

Women, let's work together and fight for our own rights. Let's help those who are not empowered. It will be good to share our experiences, ideas, and knowledge which will unite us and work in togetherness. Let us put our trust in God, and our voices will be heard by the church, by society, and also by the community.

Rev. Kat Sal Nenette, Democratic Republic of Congo

United…People Living With HIV and AIDS against Injustice

I'm shouting out for people who are living with HIV/AIDS
Never give up because God loves u.
Just continue to be hopeful, prayerful, and support each other.
United, you'll successfully gain over
Stigma and discrimination
This century is a new era for all of you.
Instead of crying, hiding and fearing,
Come together, fight for the implementation of
Equity, human rights, economic empowerment, and build the world.

Duhimbarwe Lionel, Burundi

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