ACET Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) began in 2007 as a Christian response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic using a primary prevention approach. Since then they have worked to understand the drivers of HIV in their context which include ignorance, stigma and discrimination, sexual gender based violence, and erroneous cultural beliefs about sex and sexual health. This has led to a shift in a more comprehensive approach to HIV and AIDS that responds to sexual and reproductive health issues.
ACET DRC works in partnerships with churches and their wide network of schools and congregations on the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a multi-dimensional approach which aims to address key barriers and enablers to sexual and reproduction health at individual, family, organizational, and institutional levels.
Key strategies to improve sexual and reproductive health include the following:
- Provide ongoing training to key influential leaders including clergy, providers of education services, and community organisations so that they have the knowledge and skills to lead their communities in promoting sexual and reproductive health
- Equip church and school institutions with curricula to equip educators to cultivate safe schools and communities where children and youth can grow and reach their full potential.
- Provide countrywide support and expertise to churches, schools and communities in programming particularly to address the sexual and reproductive health of youth
- Advocate for an evidence-based approach to healthy relationship programming in schools and congregations
- Build strategic partnerships with church and community leaders to support the scaling up of a strategic and coordinated approach to sexual reproductive health