United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands



Speaking at the PANCAP 2019 Consultation held on Thursday, June 6 at the Baha’i Centre, Mountain View Avenue in Kingston; Derrick Springer, Guyana based Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against AIDS (PANCAP) announced that Religious leaders will be educated and sensitized in the “use of media to break down the strongholds of HIV stigma and discrimination and the related scourge of Gender based violence”. He advised that Dr. Alyson Leacock, regional media and communications specialist will lead the charge in developing a communications strategy in the “Media Engagement Training for Faith Leaders”.
Fifteen (15) leaders represented the partners and stakeholders in this follow up to a series of national and regional consultations held between 2018 and early 2019, as a part of the PANCAP’s Justice for All programme. They included the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) Religious Groups Steering Committee which includes: the Unitarian, Rastafarian, Muslim, Baha’i and other Faiths, International Development partner – UNAIDS,  NGOs like the Family Federation for World Peace, human rights advocates including  Persons Living with HIV and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Karlene Temple-Anderson, Ministry of Health’s Grants Manager, commended the Religious sector’s  contribution to helping  Jamaica achieve to World Health Organization’s target of 90-90-90 – for Persons Living with HIV  (PLWH) i.e. 90%  diagnosed and aware of their status;  90%  diagnosed  are on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and 90% on ART achieve viral suppression. She however still saw the need to remove the perception that the Faith community is a place of exclusion rather than a refuge. The Media training will equip the Church and other religious leaders to develop media campaigns to reach their followers. 

Rev. Canon Garth Minott, Anglican priest and Chair of the Regional Consultative Steering Committee/Religious Steering Committee announced a new initiative of the Religious leaders in partnership with the MOH. He advised that The JCC has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health Global Fund for intervention in human rights advocacy with special focus on reducing stigma and discrimination within religious organizations generally and among religious leaders in particular. A mapping exercise, which is an integral part of the project, will assist in identifying religious agencies offering services for healthy living which will serve to enhance the directory of services offered by the National Family Planning Board.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Patricia Phillips, at 1- 876- 801- 9150 or patriciahopeyphillips@gmail.com.

Rev. Canon Garth Minott Telephone: 876 - 337 - 7739
Email: g.minott@gmail.com                     
or Rev. Gary Harriott, JCC General Secretary
Telephone: 876 - 854 - 7723 Email: gensec.jcc@gmail.com  

Posted by: Administrator Tuesday Jun 11, 2019 08:19
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United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands