Religious Sisters train to address HIV/AIDS pandemic
KAMPALA, UGANDA — The All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (AACSS) announces the beginning of a three-year program in Uganda, Counseling in Response to HIV/AIDS. The program will prepare sisters for a daunting task – to encourage people to undergo testing for HIV/AIDS, to help families deal with HIV/AIDS, and to deal with children traumatized by the pandemic. The program will provide training for 35 sisters each year in order to have 105 trained counselors at the end of the three-year period. The program is designed with three tracks: an initial nine-month track for a certificate in counseling; a subsequent nine-month track for a diploma; and a two-year course of study for a bachelor’s degree in counseling. Course content will be broad within the field of counseling but will focus specifically on HIV/AIDS issues. Sisters from the religious leadership of each district in Uganda will select all participants.
Objectives for the training program are to:
- train counselors who would be sensitive to cultural differences in sexuality,
- discover the root of traditional advice-giving as a form of guidance and counseling,
- gain insights into worldwide theories and practices of counseling, and
- integrate and internalize these insights with traditional concepts of hospitality in order to care for those with psychological trauma caused by the pandemic.
AACSS/Uganda will offer this training program under the auspices of the Uganda Martyrs University at Nkozi, Uganda, and in collaboration with the Brothers of Christian Instruction. Sister Cecilia Nibyobyonka, OLGC, is the coordinator/director of this AACSS program. Sister Nibyobyonka is a graduate of St. Joseph College, West Hartford
Messages to Eileen Hogan rsm, AACSS Co-director