ACET recently held a HIV and Listening Skills training day at Living Waters church, a multinational church with Malawian origins, based in the North Inner City of Dublin. This workshop is part of our Migrant-Led Churches project which not only aims to raise awareness of HIV in the faith communities of migrants, but also strives to address root causes of HIV-related stigma.
ACET staff spent a full day training over 20 members who hold a range of leadership and membership responsibilities. Richard Carson brought the participants through the story of HIV, globally and locally. Every statistic, medical update or HIV testing opportunity is handled as an opportunity to challenge HIV-related stigma. The testimonies of church leaders living with HIV prove particularly powerful.
Vivienne Morrow Murtagh encouraged attendees to practice their Listening Skills using the Imago Therapy model, in which to truly listen one must leave your own world, cross over the bridge, and enter the world of the other. “The only thing you bring with you is your passport”, encouraged Vivienne as the disciplines of Mirror -Validate – Empathise were explained.
These training days with leaders and members of Migrant-Led churches encourage a culture of listening to challenge HIV-related stigma and all marginalisation. Pastors, married couples, even identical twins gave helpful feedback on their newly developing listening skills. “I have been in Ireland 7 years and I have never seen anything like this. It’s great! More churches need to do this” commented one participant.
These training days with leaders and members of migrant-led churches, encourage a culture of listening to challenge HIV related stigma and all marginalization. Pastors, married couples and even identical twins gave helpful feedback on their newly found listening skills. “I have been in Ireland 7 years and I have never seen anything like this. It’s great! More churches need to do this” commented one participant.
This project is supported by the MAC AIDS Fund.
One theme of our care work over the last few months has been an influx of new people being referred to us. Different stages of the year yield different levels of referrals, and this past Autumn/Winter has seen us meeting a lot of new people. Meeting someone for the first time can be brilliant, inspiring, challenging, and nervy– all at once! Usually, in the first meeting, through listening to their story, and speaking about how ACET could work alongside them, the conversation runs on to sharing at a deeper level, and that opens the door to real connection with them and their context.
The initial stage of working with someone new can be challenging as we get to know their circumstances, learn what motivates them, and how best to support them. Sometimes, it may take a while before a person regularly keeps meetings we arrange. Lack of familiarity can be a major barrier, but perseverance and patience help overcome it. To use a horticulture analogy, this is the sowing season; putting in the work now in hope of future success. One of the people we recently started working with reflected, “At first, I wasn’t sure about you, but now I know I can call you and feel really supported”.
“This course has enlightened me about how to deal with teenagers.” – Jesus Centre Dublin participant.
We know that Parenting is tough. We know that Parenting teenagers can be really tough. That is why we are bringing the vastly experienced staff of ACET Northern Ireland to deliver our Parent/Teen Communication Skills course in Dublin.
We have trained church leaders all over the country on HIV, listening skills, mental health and more. Together with our participants we have identified Parenting as an enormously challenging area, particularly in the context of the generation divide marked by migration from one continent to another. I remember the day a Pastor said to me, over coffee, “Richard, I don’t know how to talk to my 14-year-old daughter. It is like she is speaking a different language.” “You are not alone.” was my reply.
We have already trained parents on our Level 2 course in Jesus Centre Dublin. 100% of participants stated that the course equipped them to be better parents in areas such as Teenage Development, Strategies for Resolving Conflict, How to Build Self esteem in Teenagers and Talking about Sex and Relationships with Teenagers. Now we are repeating the same course for new participants
Would you consider joining us as together we explore areas of Conflict and Listening and see how God might equip us to become better parents for our wonderful children?
Saturday 13th May: 9:45am – 3:30pm
Saturday 27th May: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Attendance is required for both days.
Venue: RCCG – Miralceland, Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Lunch will be provided. All participants will receive a Level 2 Open College Network (OCN) Northern Ireland qualification and will be introduced to further options for learning in this area including the chance to become trainers themselves through a Level 3 course. There is no charge for this course and there are limited places. To book your place contact Richard Carson at email@example.com or 0860482094 (On WhatsApp or phone)
This project is funded by the MAC AIDS Fund.
In the past few months, our care work has focused on:
- Medical support: particular clients have been motivated to engage with testing, adhere to new and existing medication regimes and attend clinic appointments with the support and encouragement of care staff.
- New referrals: needs range from housing, health and migration issues. While building new relationships we have also assisted with applications and interagency work, alongside the appropriate health focus.
- Linking with extended family members of existing clients: as a result of already established relationships, we have been able to provide immediate support in areas of health promotion, advocacy for social justice issues and boundaries within family units.
- Mid-term and Easter respite: visits to museums, the zoo, Malahide Castle and Farmleigh provided a welcome break for families and individuals. Creating memories also helps strengthen intergenerational relationships. Respite is an invaluable support: we are grateful for the funding for it.
Respite in many forms: family baking projects; rock climbing; playground time.
ACET’s own Richard Carson was honoured for his work in three award ceremonies in recent months.
First up was the DebSandy Foundation who provide information, support and access to healthcare and advocacy. They presented an award in recognition of Richard’s “valuable contribution to raising health awareness in Ireland.”
The Sunrise Foundation presented Richard with an award at a spectacular event in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin.
Finally, Richard was nominated for the Noel Walsh HIV Activism Award at the 2016 GALAS – Ireland’s LGBT Awards. At a great night at the Mansion House, Deirdre Seery won the award for all her work with the Sexual Health Centre in Cork.
To make a referral to our care work, download the form below and return by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or by post to 50 Lower Gardiner St, Dublin 1, D01 VC03
If you have any questions or need help with the form, please contact Olivia on 085 772 2992 or Hansi on 085 746 8447.
AIDS Care Education & Training Ireland