Image: NFPB’s Virtual Stigma Reduction Sensitisation Session
Through its ongoing partnership with the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC), the National Family Planning Board (NFPB) Enabling Environment and Human Rights Unit, based in Kingston, Jamaica conducted a virtual stigma reduction sensitisation session with 45 religious leaders in the Southern and Western parishes respectively. The virtual meeting was organised by the Religious Site Facilitators in the western and southern parishes who mobilised participants, including two participants from Haiti and Panama.
The sessions were aimed at religious leaders in Kingston and the southeast parishes of the island and were designed by the JCC and the NFBP to help participants explore the intersection of HIV-related stigma and discrimination with COVID-19.
The JCC engaged Rosie Stone, an activist for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and trained Positive Health, Dignity, and Prevention (PHDP) facilitator, to spearhead the sessions. The activities were planned as part of the faith-based organisation’s community efforts to work with the national HIV and AIDS response in Jamaica to reduce stigma and discrimination against PLHIV and vulnerable populations in their settings.
“COVID-19 has shown us that there is still an urgent need for innovative targeted tools and comprehensive strategies to accelerate progress for our vulnerable populations”, stated Devon Gabourel, Director, Enabling Environment and Human Rights, NFPB.
“As we see positive efforts to fight COVID-19 in our region, we must use this dynamism to seek sustainable financing and reinforce partnerships that strengthen actions to protect women and girls”.