23 January 2015
Work expands into Ebonyi State

New teams formed in eastern Nigeria’s Ebonyi state have tested over 1,500 people in their first few months.

Following new volunteer training in Ebonyi during August 2014, 40 people committed to become volunteers and formed teams in Izzi, Agubia/Echara, Ekpelu and Ndiegu-Azu.

Ebonyi is a new area for Grace & Light; it is in the eastern part of Nigeria where we had not been active. This changed with the training when 53 people from across the denominations spent five days learning about HIV testing and counselling.

Feedback on the training was very positive. Participants said they are confident about HIV testing and it is not difficult. They are no longer afraid and don’t want to run away from people with HIV.

“Many rededicated their lives when they heard about social righteousness,” said international coordinator Tassie Ghata. “Key for them is that Grace & Light is not just about HIV but about their total lives.”

The training included testimonies from widows whose husbands had AIDS. “HIV and AIDS are not said out loud in the eastern part,” said Tassie. Our volunteers were impressed these widows were willing to be open. Some committed to take care of people they know who are positive and help them live better. It is why some did not join volunteer teams.

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