The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has announced the February 16 launch of a church-based HIV/AIDS initiative in South Africa in conjunction with local churches and Jewish groups. Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, primate of the Church in the Province of Southern Africa, will speak at the launch. He has endorsed the initiative, saying that 'discussing issues of faith and religion in relation to HIV/AIDS gives new hope.'
The coalition has established an office in Cape Town with a staff member who will coordinate the work of the project, assisted by a corps of volunteers. Modeled on the coalition's successful Black Church Initiative, the South African program will assist churches in reducing teenage pregnancy and AIDS infections among youth. It will also hold forums for clergy to introduce the initiative.
Training workshops will be offered for 'Keeping it Real!' the coalition's faith-based sexuality education curriculum. Plans are to expand the initiative beyond Cape Town to other major cities such as Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban in the next two years.