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Jesuit Solidarity Fund, Uganda

On 8 September 1989, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda issued a message, “The AIDS Epidemic,” which outlined a two-fold Christian response: changing one’s behaviour in the light of God’s Law,
and reaching out to the people with AIDS, the bereaved and the orphaned.

In 1992, Fr. Edouard Trudeau originally from the French Canada Province (GLC) set up the Jesuit Solidarity fund, and
his co-workers in this endeavour have been Frs. Eugene Hattie originally from the Wisconsin Province (WIS) and John Legge of the Upper Canada Province (CSU). As AIDS was causing numerous deaths among
young adults, the Solidarity Fund, based at Xavier House on Nsambya Hill in Kampala, began helping some of the numerous orphans. Each year the Fund is helping about fifty ‘households’ typically headed by
a widow or a grandmother and including an average of five children. The Solidarity Fund provides for rent, food and school fees for primary, secondary and occasionally even professional school. Some of
those helped are now graduating: one in nursing, another in medicine, a science teacher and an agronomist. Contact Edouard Trudeau SJ xavier@africaonline.co.ug.

Planning in West African Province

Action against AIDS should be taken up as a real priority in the Province, the Social Apostolate commission of the West African Province (PAO) said. During a meeting on 27 December 2002 at
Bonamoussadi in Douala, a few days before the Provincial Congregation, the Commission urged those involved in forming young Jesuits, as well as those working with HIV+ persons or co-operating with those
who care for them, to get in touch as soon as possible with the AJAN co-ordinator. There should be ethical, anthropological, cultural and medical discussions about AIDS, especially in our houses of
formation; our magazines and journals should go deeper into the problem both reflecting on it critically and publishing personal experiences and reports from the field; articles like these could be
republished in or adapted for the local newspapers. Also, finally, it would be good to organise a network at the Province level of those involved in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. The new AIDS committee
in the West African Province is made up of Fr. Victor Adangba, Fr. Pierre Faure and Bro.
Leopoldo LKabrin.

A Theological Approach to AIDS

“Translating theological researches into lived realities : the case of Africa” was the theme of the third Theological week at Hekima College, 15-17 January 2003, and the topic assigned me
was “Theological approach to HIV/AIDS.” About a hundred Hekima students and faculty attended as well as some guests, with the talk held in the Hekima conference hall. As I had just arrived in Nairobi to
begin working as AJAN co-ordinator, the conference reviewed the many areas which the new network could consider in the infancy of its research. Quoting Nelson Mandela, “We are all human, and the HIV/AIDS
epidemic affects us all in the end. If we discard the people who are dying from AIDS, then we can no longer call ourselves people,” nor can we go into serious research about AIDS without being affected by
it and without being pushed to respond to it. Under the broad areas of the natural and human sciences, culture, the theological sciences and the practical arts, a surprisingly vast array of topics
emerged. Once the paper has been reworked, it will be posted on the web-site www.jesuitaids.net.

13th ICASA in Nairobi

Looking ahead to September 21-26, 2003, the 13th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa will be held in Nairobi. The theme is “Access to
Care: Challenges.” Any Jesuit from Africa planning to attend, please contact the AJAN co-ordinator. For more information about the Conference, contact
icasa2003@todays.co.ke or look at www.icasanairobi2003.org.

AJANews No. 4, February 2003
95ENG

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