Supporting parents dealing with HIV/AIDS impact

Parenting: a Journey of Love (pic courtesy WCC)

In a new book titled Parenting: a Journey of Love author Dr Fulata Lusungu Moyo of the World Council of Churches (WCC) offers profound perspectives on parenting, especially in context of HIV/AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa.

Parenting: a Journey of Love is designed for parents and guardians, enabling them to be a gender socializing institution for children, especially in situations impacted by HIV/AIDS. This includes improving their understanding of theological, ethical, spiritual and social implications of HIV/AIDS, and the challenges to overcome stigma with compassion. The book is one of the “Called to Care” workbook series published by Strategies for Hope.

Parenting: a Journey of Love is one of Moyo’s several engagements with gender and church issues. Moyo is the WCC programme executive for Women in Church and Society.

Her work at the WCC focuses on accomplishing the contribution of women in the ecumenical movement. In this workbook, she combines her personal approach to parenting, along with the struggles of religious communities dealing with HIV/AIDS and its impact.

“Being a parent is indeed a journey, from a distinct starting point towards an infinite future, full of promises, but also beset by uncertainties and dangers,” says Moyo in foreword to the workbook, explaining the motivations behind the content. “The basic approach of this book, which is written from a Christian perspective, is that the most effective parenting strategy consists of what I call ‘modelling rooted in love’,” she adds.

Bringing in a personal perspective

Parenting: a Journey of Love includes Moyo’s perspectives, based on her own experiences. She says, “As a widow, who lost my husband to liver cancer in 1999, and other family members and friends to AIDS related complications, I had been trying to make sense of single parenting. In this workbook, invited by ‘Called to Care’, and inspired by the World Health Organization, I am sharing some of my own struggles.”

While Parenting: a Journey of Love is to be used by churches, faith based organizations, NGOs and community groups especially in Sub Saharan Africa, it can be adapted in other parts of the world. It is produced in English and will be translated into French, Portuguese and Swahili languages.

The “Called to Care” publications are practical, action oriented, participatory well illustrated and gender focused. These workbooks, therefore, were used in some of the WCC programmes, shares Moyo, including the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa.

Parenting: a Journey of Love will be officially launched at the WCC Philip Potter Library on Tuesday, 4 October 2011, 12.00 noon at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, where Moyo will engage in an interactive discussion with guests.

(This story was provided and used with permission by the World Council of Churches.)