Fourteen million children have been orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa due to the AIDS pandemic. In recent years, PWRDF has worked with projects like Tumelong Haven in Winterveldt, South Africa, which provides day care to orphans who are being cared for by extended family
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is beginning a major strategy designed to focus attention on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa .
Andrew Ignatieff , director of PWRDF, told Council of General Synod (CoGS) and the house of bishops that while life expectancy has generally risen around the world, in Africa it has actually declined due to the spread of AIDS.
“Since 1982, 60 million people have been infected worldwide. Fourteen million children have been orphaned in sub-Saharan Africa ,” he said, outlining the disproportionate impact of the disease on the African continent.
The campaign, called A Partnership for Life – A Generation Without AIDS , aims to raise $1 million from parishes, foundations and government sources. “We want to see what can be done through faith initiatives, what changes in behaviour and attitudes are required. We want to expand work on advocacy and action, on access to generic drugs, on the struggle against the stigma of having AIDS,” he said.
PWRDF already provides close to $500,000 in program support to HIV/AIDS work, principally in Uganda , Kenya , Tanzania and South Africa , according to a report prepared for the fund’s annual meeting Nov. 1.
The fund has also developed a liturgy booklet in connection with World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. “It is hoped that this resource will be used in churches and cathedrals as a call to our conscience for concrete action by the church to struggle against HIV/AIDS in Canada as well as supporting HIV/AIDS work in eastern and southern Africa,” said the report. Material was mailed to PWRDF diocesan co-ordinators and parish representatives in time for World AIDS Day.
Mr. Ignatieff also noted that the fund’s HIV/AIDS strategy will be given high profile at General Synod 2004, focusing on the presentation by Stephen Lewis, the United Nations’ Special Representative on HIV/AIDS.
The fund’s board of directors, which met around the same time at the annual meeting, asked that fund representatives be given voice and vote at General Synod in order to regain the participation lost when the fund was separately incorporated in 2001. The incorporation was intended to shield PWRDF assets from possible residential schools litigation. The request was referred by CoGS to a committee responsible for the General Synod handbook.
Mr. Ignatieff’s report also noted that “work continues on the implementation of the PWRDF financial development strategy.” Next year, the fund will begin to attempt to expand the number of regular donors, explore project-based fundraising from government and corporate fundraising. The program may also include approaching General Synod for a subsidy, Mr. Ignatieff said in an interview. For the year ending March 31, 2003 , the fund recorded total revenue of $5.5 million and expenditures of $5.0 million.
PWRDF is a separately-incorporated organization affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada and based at the national church office in Toronto . It provides disaster relief funds and supports economic development programs abroad and within indigenous communities in Canada.