Education Projects Updates

World AIDS Day 2015


NO FEE 14 International AIDS Day

ACET staff member Lynn Caldwell joined with the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, for the launch of the campaign at governement buildings.

 

 

 

 

This Tuesday, 1st December, is World AIDS Day.  ACET has joined with a broad range of agencies, including the HSE, to be part of the first National World AIDS Day campaign.

With 203 new HIV diagnoses for the first half of 2015, 1 in 4 people living with HIV unaware of their status having not tested and HIV stigma still a major challenge, this campaign is timely and important.

This Tuesday, wear a red ribbon, share the posters, learn more about HIV, challenge stigma and get tested.

Check out all the latest on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Details of your nearest testing centre are available at the newly launched HIV Services Ireland website: www.hivservices.ie

 

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World AIDS Day

 

 

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Stories of Belief with LGBT Christians – NEW DATE

We are delighted to annouce a new date for our Stories of Belief event.

On Saturday 25th July (10am-4pm) at the Lucan Centre we will gather leaders of evangelical churches and LGBT Christians. This is the second such event after a fully-booked event in March.

Stories of Belief – Faith and dialogue in a post-referendum Ireland.
We will be speaking with each other in the wake of the referendum on marriage equality, reflecting on the dynamics and tensions of faith, dialogue and sharing. We will also be hearing from first person narratives, learning from experiences of inclusion, and experiences of being misunderstood.
This seminar doesn’t seek to bring all participants to a place of agreement with each other. The seminar rests on the idea that in order for meaningful disagreement to occur, real understanding has to be in place.
People of faith together, LGBT people, supporters of marriage equality, those who are concerned at the outcome – we will seek to embody gospel values as we create a community of discussion and understanding with each other as we explore how we can live well together in a post-referendum Ireland.

Facilitators include: 

Poet, theologian and group worker, Pádraig Ó Tuama is the team leader at the Corrymeela Community. His book of prose and poetry, In the Shelter, is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in all good bookshops.

Richard Carson is the Chief Executive of ACET Ireland and has 15 years experience training on the interactions of faith, sexual health and sexuality around Ireland and in 13 other countries around the world. 

To book a place for the event, which is supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland, please contact Richard Carson at richard(dot)c(at)acet(dot)ie

 

 

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Healthy Church Training completes Year 1

On 23rd May we completed the final Healthy Church training day of the academic year.  These training days, led by highly experienced facilitators, seek to equip church leaders to more effectively address HIV and other health issues within their congregations.

In the last year we have trained over 50 leaders who engage with tens of thousands  of congregants across the country.  Their churches are generally migrant-led and originate in a range of Sub-Saharan African countries. We have also trained the leaders of some multiethnic churches – those in which the leadership team as well as the congregation is multiethnic.

Through the year our team have learnt an enormous amount about training in an intercultural context in which the themes of health, faith and integration interact. We will be spending the next few months completing evaluations and writing up and collating our training materials in preparation for 2015-16.

To read more about how the first half of our academic year went check out our Annual Report.

A big thank you to the Lucan Centre for hosting us over the past year.  We have also worked with groups of leaders in smaller geographical areas such as the North East Inner City of Dublin where we work in partnership with Acts of Compassion Project.

Keep an eye out for announcements of our next round of training in August.

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New dates for Healthy Church training

****UPDATE****

25th April is now fully booked. Places are available for 23rd May but will fill up fast.

We are delighted to announce new dates for our Healthy Church training. These training days, led by highly experienced facilitators, seek to equip church leaders to more effectively address HIV and other health issues within their congregations.

On Saturday 25th April and Saturday 23rd May (both 10:00am-4:30pm) we will host two identical training days. Both will take place at the Lucan Centre, Dublin.

For more details and to register please contact Richard Carson richard(dot)c(at)acet(dot)ie

 

 

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Stories of Belief from LGBT Christians

As part of our fedgling Project Emmaus, we are delighted to announce this upcoming symposium for church leaders:

Stories of belief from LGBT Christians 

 Saturday 7th March, 10am-3pm, Trinity College Dublin Chaplaincy. Lunch will be provided.

 The contemporary discussion about LGBT lives and stories in Ireland is often centred: 

a) on the upcoming referendum 
b) on whether or not LGBT people are a threat to marriage, the family and children. 
 
However, this upcoming event will explore some of the underlying themes, beliefs and stories in our current debate, the human cost of discussions about the causation and cure of being gay, as well the other side of contemporary discussions on the consequences of legitimising LGBT people in all aspects of society, inclusion and leadership. 
 
Our time together will include:
  • Hearing stories
  • Theological exploration
  • Group Discussion
  • Learning how to hear each other well. 
  • Practising the art of listening. 

Facilitators include:

Poet, theologian and group worker, Pádraig Ó Tuama is the team leader at the Corrymeela Community. His book of prose and poetry, In the Shelter, is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in all good bookshops.

Richard Carson is the Chief Executive of ACET Ireland and has 15 years experience training on the interactions of faith, sexual health and sexuality around Ireland and in 13 other countries around the world, including through an award-winning Masters degree in Trinity College Dublin. 

 This event is part of a fledgling project of ACET Ireland which explores the interface of LGBT and faith issues and is funded by the LGBT Communities Fund of the Community Foundation of Ireland. It is being held in partnership with the Corrymeela Community and the TCD Methodist Chaplaincy.

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World AIDS Day – Close the Gap

Check out this guest blog post by Richard Carson for VOX magazine on the occasion of World AIDS Day 2014:

Planning events for the last few World AIDS Days has generated an interesting dilemma for those of us working in the sector. The quandary is that, on the one hand, the brand of “World AIDS Day” remains popular with the general public. While, on the other hand, the good news emerging is that the annual day’s title is increasingly becoming an inaccurate description…..Continue reading.

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Healthy Church Training

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At the end of July, twelve church leaders from around Ireland gathered at the Lucan Centre for our Healthy Church event as part of Project Hope. The goal was to address health issues within our faith communities with a particular focus on the challenges that migrants to Ireland face in relation to overcoming barriers to health. In line with ACET’s ethos, the approach of the training was to explore the possibilities of raising a culture of empathetic listening in our faith communities rather than just passing on information or skills.  By focussing on areas such as HIV and mental health we sought to equip the leaders with all they need to bring about such change. In our post-event evaluation 100% of participants agreed that the members of their church would benefit from their leaders attendance at the event.

We are grateful to Prof. Adebola Adedimeji of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York for his support and expertise. Prof Adedimeji will continue to research this area so look out for publications in peer-reviewed journals in the near future. In addition, Vivienne Murtagh of ACET brought her gifted training and facilitation skills to the event, while Juliet Amamure of Diaspora Women’s Initiative added a profound personal touch to ensure that we remained focussed on who we are serving.  We are grateful to the Global Health Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the PA Foundation and Dublin City Council for their support. We are excited about entering the next phase of Project Hope with the support of Community Foundation Ireland and the MAC AIDS Fund.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say afterwards:

“The emphasis on building a culture of empathetic listening was the best part. I really benefitted from the listening skills.”

“You are doing a great work. Please don’t relent in your efforts.”

“Brilliant!”

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If you want to keep updated on when and where the next training will be taking place then click below on “Partner” with “Project Hope” in the comment and we will be in touch with more details.

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God Loves Uganda film event at Dublin Pride

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On 21st June we were delighted to partner with the National LGBT Federation (NXF) for a Dublin Pride showing of God Loves Uganda. The Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, Dublin was the venue for this provocative and disturbing documentary. In the film Oscar-winning (Music by Prudence) director Roger Ross Williams  examines the role of US evangelical groups in the development and passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda.
After the showing a panel which included ACET Ireland CEO Richard Carson, Juliet Amamure of Diaspora Women’s Initiative and Patrick Lynch formerly of Evangelical Alliance Ireland and NXF discussed the film including the challenge of identifying appropriate responses. Over 60 people from a range of backgrounds from church leaders to LGBT community leaders to Uganda diaspora members turned up on a sunny Saturday to be part of the event.
Earlier in the month we also had a showing of the documentary for staff of faith-based international development agencies and we are grateful to Pádraig O’Tuama for sharing with us his experiences and expertise. This event was part of Project Emmaus, our fledgling work exploring the interface of faith and LGBT issues in Ireland and was funded by Community Foundation Ireland. God Loves Uganda can be purchased on Amazon or contact us by clicking on ‘Partner” below and mentioning the movie in the comment box for details of future educational showings.

 

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New partnership with M·A·C AIDS Fund UK & Project Hope

!cid_D8AEAE47-026F-42DE-8182-C43FDE7A4C3DWe are delighted to announce a new partnership with the M·A·C AIDS Fund UK. They will be supporting Project Hope as we seek to transform the story of HIV in Migrant-Led churches across Ireland through the training of leaders. These churches are important and positive community supports for many people living with HIV. It is broadly acknowledged though that the experience of those living with HIV within these settings has been mixed in terms of leadership, pastoral support and health promotion.This partnership will allow us to deliver training that will change this and allow these churches to further flourish in the values of faith, hope and love that are central to their existence.

The  M·A·C AIDS Fund is the largest corporate non-pharmaceutical donor in the area of HIV. They join with Community Foundation Ireland, the PA Foundation and Dublin City Council by supporting Project Hope. If you want to keep updated on when and where this training will be taking place then click below on “Partner” with “Project Hope” in the comment and we will be in touch with more details.

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Worrying increase in HIV cases in Ireland

Is HIV still an issue in Ireland? Are there still new cases of this preventable infection? Most people in Ireland are unsure how to answer this question. However for the past few years we have had almost one new case per day in this country and this figure is rising significantly. Data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (www.hpsc.ie) shows that in the first 15 weeks of 2014 there were 126 new cases of HIV. That’s a 50% increase on the same period last year. We are waiting to hear from the HPSC on the possible routes of transmission of these cases but we know that Men who have sex with Men and Heterosexual transmission continue to be areas of concern.

Recently Richard Carson, CEO of ACET Ireland, was among the first 12 HIV experts in Europe trained in Succeed, a quality improvement tool developed by Quality Action, the World Health Organisation approved agency tasked with improving quality in HIV-prevention across Europe. At the training Richard heard that “we will not treat our way out of the pandemic” – a statement that reflects that while we are delighted that treatment for HIV continues to improve, we need to continue to focus on prevention. Does the incidence of HIV in Ireland surprise you? How do you think we should respond? We would love to hear your comments. 

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