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Welcome ...

 The ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative -formerly known as the ICMDA HIV Initiative - is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association. We are motivated by a belief in a loving God who cares about all the world's people regardless of health status, race, creed, colour or financial or social standing
 
The International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA)  is an association of more than fifty national Christian medical, dental and health worker societies, and interested individuals, reaching out to Christian doctors, dentists, health workers and students around the globe.
 

The Winner of the 2013  Dignity and Right to Health Award
The "Dignity and Right to Health Award" is an international award established to address health and development issues including HIV. The "Dignity and Right to Health Award" is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.
 
The committee this year has been challenged by the difficult task of choosing a winner for the 2013 award. All three nominations have more than adequately met the various criteria of the award.
 
 

We are happy to share with you the name of the winner of the 2013 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.

 

The Beacon of Hope Centre (Jane Wathome and her team) have been chosen this year in a very closely matched review. We thank Dr Anne Merriman of Hospice Africa, Uganda and Mama Wandoa Mwambu of the Upendo Centre, Tanzania for also inspiring all of us with their powerful and encouraging stories

 

Today I am delighted again to share with you the story of Beacon Of Hope

(BOH) whose director is Jane Wathome.

 

The Beacon Of Hope Story

 

Criteria 1. Leadership - Demonstrated visionary and innovative

leadership

     

Beacon of Hope (BOH) is a Resource Center for HIV affected women and children in a slum area, Ongata Rongai, on the western outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.  A Kenyan woman, Jane Wathome, after seeing women in her work and church worlds going around and around the cycle of poverty, HIV and the sex trade felt God's call to leave the marketplace and equip herself to walk with these women toward physical and spiritual health.

 

She says that the vision for BOH came from the women themselves. When she asked them what they needed to get out of this cycle of HIV and poverty, they knew, empowerment, including skills to earn a living, medical resources and health information for themselves and their families, as well as schooling for their children.

 

Jane also said that the women had the vision of outreach to eventually become a training site for other communities in Kenya and eventually other regions of Africa.  The diagram /vision was the biblical vision Jesus cast, "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth", which put into their world.Ongata Rongai, their slum home, then other communities in Kenya and then other countries of Africa.

 

BOH is in its 11th year.. Jane leans heavily on her church, friends and

business community.  The vision is always to make BOH a Center of

Excellence with everything done so that BOH becomes self-sustaining and God is glorified.

 

Criteria 2. Target group - Marginalised / Hard to Reach Communities

 

Provision of health services for communities who have difficulties in accessing care due to ethnicity, caste, behaviour, and or other reasons, or are hard to reach due to geographical difficulties, violence or conflicts. 

 

There were no clinics in Ongata Rongai that these women could afford.  Jane began by driving them across Nairobi to a free clinic, but then a nurse volunteered to set up a small clinic at BOH so that VCT could be offered as well as basic care provided.

 

The Japanese Embassy selected BOH to support and finished the clinic, staffed it and stocked it, including a CD4 machine.  The clinic has been open to all the women of Rongai, no matter their faith.  A large Muslim community across the road asked if their women could come for care.  This was the answer to the prayers of the BOH women to reach all women in their community with the love of Christ.

 

 

Criteria 3. Program outcomes

 

.     Significant impact at local and wider level,

.     Empowers others in integrated community responses,

.     Facilitates church integration and participation in best practice

models of care

.     Demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and

empowerment of the target communities

.     Works, facilitates and advocates for gender equality in community

participation and response to issues faced by the target communities

.     Links well with government and other actors in a comprehensive

approach to issues faced by the target communities

 

.     Models creative and compassionate responses that inspire many to

similarly enhance the dignity and human rights of the target communities

 

There are well over 1000 women on the BOH inventory with their families.

These are women who were dying, had lost family members and most were unable to care for their children or themselves.  These women are now trained in several career choices, are empowered and have marketable skills. Many are part of small micro finance groups that have been set up at BOH. They have many and varied businesses after entrepreneurial training.  They have been taught how to create gardens in a big plastic bag that are able to feed up to four.  Seedlings are free from BOH.  These women, teens in the teen clubs and their children in the schools now have a vision of their own and a hope for a future.

 

BOH's vision from the beginning was to be a training center for other communities within Kenya and then the rest of Africa. BOH teams work with these communities to help set priorities, and review their capabilities and resources.  They help them to establish goals, become trained and remain accountable as they grow. BOH is committed to stay connected with them until they become a center of excellence, their own Beacon of Hope.

 

Beacon has first and foremost presented themselves as Faith Based.  They are an outgrowth of Nairobi Chapel and last year The Chapel started a church plant in Ongata Rongai.  From the initial contact with BOH, each woman is encouraged to become a part of discipleship, biblical counseling and bible study programs.  In the spring of 2013, BOH was able to recruit their own pastor on site and spiritual care programs are being run right on site.

 

 

From the beginning, Jane has leaned heavily on the Kenyan community.  She has networked within Kenya, and within her Christian community, the business community and volunteers. This has established the preschool classrooms, the nursing station, and the weaving, tailoring and other courses. Initially, there was no money to pay salaries, but when potential funders saw what was happening and the way it was being done as, A Center of Excellence, food, children's chairs, computers, and innumerable other necessities began arriving.  Jane has met the government medical departments with a request that they fulfill their duties to provide ARV's. They have the order ready for Beacon when they arrive to pick it up.  Jane is a woman who has no fear when it comes to helping these women and communities break out of the poverty cycle and live healthy, empowered lives.  Always upfront it is God that empowers and deserves the Praise.

 

You cannot comprehend the impact of this group of once poverty stricken women until you walk around Beacon.  It is Africans doing the right thing for their own, in the right way and God receives the glory.

The result is healthy, women, children and families who are very aware that God is responsible for this, by using willing people and resource's to change their lives.

 

At this time, there are 12 communities from Kenya that have asked for help to empower their young people, and at least one that has asked for help to develop a medical care program. There have been requests from communities from at least 2 other countries in Africa wanting to know more after hearing about BOH.

 

Criteria 4. Personal Life

Exemplifies a life that does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with God Assists individuals to be worshipers of the Living God

       

 

Jane, herself is an amazing visionary and a very capable delegator. She has

been purposeful in gathering board members and staff to move BOH toward this

Center of Excellence vision that the women along with Jane have set. She

leads by example both at BOH, in her church community and in the partners

that have come alongside.

 

 

 

Jane Wathome, her husband Ken and their 3 children could have walked by all

this and would have been seen as upstanding Christians and leaders in a

growing and multiplying church.  No one would have criticized them.   They

have chosen a different path.  Their faith and passion are catchy.  They are

sold out to obey and follow Christ.  They have heard God's heart to take

care of the widow and orphan in a sensitive and very empowering way with a

lot of input from the women of Ongata Rongai themselves.

 

    

Final Comments...BOH is one amazing place.  To see the way these women who

were so broken now walk so tall, is a credit of what God can do through men

and women who are willing to obey his call to minister to the least of

these.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to share this story,

 

 
The Winner of the 2012 Dignity and Right to Health Award
The "Dignity and Right to Health Award" is an international award established to address health and development issues including HIV. The "Dignity and Right to Health Award" is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.
 
The committee this year has been challenged by the difficult task of choosing a winner for the 2012 award. All four nominations have more than adequately met the various criteria of the award.
 
 
This year we have received four nominations
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The award was announced on World Aids Day, December 1, 2012 
 
 
 
Finally, we have chosen to announce joint winners for the 2012 Dignity and Right to Health award of the ICMDA Leadership in Christian Health and Development Initiative.
 
 
Please join with us in celebrating the outstanding, inspiring and faithful Christian work of our joint winners, both from India - Drs Isac & Vijila David and Dr. Saira Paulose. 
 
 
 
Drs Isac and Vijila David have clearly demonstrated visionary and innovative leadership from the time they graduated as Family Physicians by stepping out in faith to take on a very difficult, yet rewarding role among a diminishing people group called Maltos in a very remote and neglected area in Jharkhand, India. On their exploration within the context of their call and vocation over fifteen years ago, they found the need to step in to change the course of life for these people. For more of their inspiring story see Isac and Vijila David
 
 
 
Let me also introduce you to the wonderful work of Dr. Saira Paulose of India Dr. Saira Paulose -leads the SHALOM Delhi HIV/AIDS Unit of the Emmanuel Hospital Association of India. Dr. Saira through her quiet leadership has knit together a team which has significantly impacted many HIV-affected individuals and families, both directly, and also indirectly through training of other organizations for Home based care, and other HIV-related interventions (including clinical care).
 
The majority of SHALOM's Home Based Care program beneficiaries are of migrant origin (neighboring States) and live in poverty stricken communities in North West Delhi, SHALOM's area of focus. Stigma and discrimination are still a very live issue, as attested to by case stories that continue to emerge from SHALOM's work. For more of thisinspiring story see Dr Saira Paulouse.
 
 
The Winner of the 2011 Dignity and Right to Health Award
 
The "Dignity and Right to Health Award"  is an activity of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association HIV Initiative. The award provides an essential opportunity to recognise, support and publicize the most outstanding role models and champions acting to stop this global epidemic. It is positioned as an important symbol for ensuring that voices from diverse communities and countries are acknowledged.

The  Dignity and Right to Health Award aims to model, mobilise and encourage  creative and sustainable ways that enhance the dignity and human rights of people and communities living with HIV/AIDS epidemic and affected by the epidemic.

The Award will be given to individuals for excellence, outstanding leadership and compassion in responding to HIV/AIDS. The process will seek nominees who demonstrate the following:-
- significant impact at local and wider level,
- empowers others in integrated community responses,
- facilitates church integration and participation in best practice models of care
- demonstrates excellence in full community involvement and empowerment of People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA)
- works, facilitates  and advocates for gender equality in community participation and response to the epidemic
- links well with government and other actors in a comprehensive approach to the epidemic
- models creative and compassionate responses that inspire many to similarly enhance the dignity and human rights of people infected and affected by the epidemic
- does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with their God
 
 
It is the great privilege and pleasure of the ICMDA HIV Initiative to announce that Dr. Olive Frost is the most worthy winner of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) HIV Initiative Dignity and Right to Health Award for 2011.
 

 
The Award is given to individuals for excellence, outstanding leadership and compassion in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
 
Dr Olive Frost, a retired obstetrician and gynaecologist from north Wales, is the winner of the 2011 Dignity and Right to Health Award of the ICMDA HIV Initiative. 
 
 
 
We acknowledge the excellent and faithful work of the other 2011 nominees - Dr. Saira Paulouse in Delhi, and also the comprehensive and continual growth of the ministry of Andi and Sheeba Eicher from Thane - Mumbai and their organization which is called Jeevan Sahara Kendra. Both ministries and their programs are exemplary.To read more of their work click on 2011 DRH Nominees
 
 
 
The story of Dr Olive Frost is quite unique. Olive now well into her seventies has for many years been working quietly "a humble plodder" in her own words, in several countries in Central Asia where humanitarian work is important, and where there is an emerging just and compassionate response to those who struggle with the disease caused by HIV. She has sown many seeds and though small, there is an emerging growth of many new programs. These programs are often led by women in situations where there have been many difficulties. Yet through a powerful commitment to stand with the stigmatised and discriminated, the power of humanitarian responses are being demonstrated in an important way in several countries including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine.
 
 
 
Olive has worked for nearly twelve years across several Central Asian republics. In that time she has worked on the challenges and issues of women and teenagers' health, sexual health and HIV prevention training in various community groups.  In all of these countries there are now autonomous non-government organisations (NGOs) working with the wider community, and two of the first leaders have gone on to form NGOs of their own. Olive has always take a supportive role, and has contributed to the development of independent movements and organizations that are carrying on the work.
 
 
 
The community groups in all  settings have been at the heart of Olive's work since she began, and continue to be the main route through which wider prevention and care and support is offered to the wider national communities.
 
 
 
In the context of Central Asia Olive has focused on inspiring and encouraging a response from community organisations. This has included involvement and leadership of a task group aimed at equipping and informing community leaders on HIV AIDS since 2006. In particular this has led to seminars and conferences held within Central Asia for leaders and workers to be informed regarding HIV and  AIDS and envisioned as to involvement and a response. Olive has taken a lead in arranging and teaching at these.
 
 
 
In her work in Central Asia and beyond through the impact of her wide travel and teaching connected to maternal and child health Olive has been seen to empower PLWHA. As an older female doctor Olive has been well respected within Central Asia and has been able to advocate gender equality in response to the epidemic.           
 
  
 
Olive has sought to involve other key players in Central Asia including ACET as well as other local NGOs. We can be greatly encouraged by this important and inspirational work!
 
 
 
We are most grateful to Dr James Tomlinson for this nomination.
 
 
We congratulates Dr. Olive Frost and salute her for the commitment and devotion she demonstrates in and through all that which she has done and continues to do for the plight of those living with HIV & AIDS. The worldwide family of the ICMDA joins in congratulating her, giving praise and thanks to God for such models as this which bring transforming HOPE and LIGHT into otherwise desperate situations.
Each year the ICMDA HIV Initiative Committee calls for nominations for this Award. Nominees are sought who live a life which 'does justice, loves kindness and walks humbly with God' (Micah 6:8).
 
 
 
Challenge of the ICMDA HIV Initiative:

We are committed to building capacity and taking appropriate action to respond to the epidemic.

Call to Action:

We continue to encourage all Christian health workers, services, institutions, local congregations and communities to engage holistically in HIV and AIDS advocacy, education, prevention, care and treatment. We support the call for universal access to prevention and treatment as part of a right to health and dignity for all.
We advocate for the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children, youth and people living with HIV and AIDS. We seek to create an enabling environment and seek to work alongside these groups.

We continue to develop, strengthen and apply our knowledge, skills and resources within a theology of health, justice and dignity. We commit to reducing stigma, discrimination, denial and silence.

Our call to action is with a humble, repentant and prophetic spirit, learning with those who are already engaged. Scientific knowledge and good professional practice, together with prayer, networking and partnership are central in our response to HIV and AIDS. Because all people are created in the image of God, we seek to demonstrate Christian love to the infected and affected, and affirm the dignity and human rights of all.

For further details see Merroo Statement
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 
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