The Nehemiah AIDS Relief Project is a social concerns intervention of the City Pentecostal Assembly in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, which started in 2001. The project was initiated as a growing number of the church members were dying of HIV and many others were being affected by HIV through caring for sick relatives and children who had lost their relatives
Today the Nehemiah Project’s vision is to build a compassionate and caring society. The project exists to share the love of Christ and bring hope to communities in Bulawayo and beyond, to participate in community action to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, and mobilize support for people living with HIV and those close to them to meet their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social needs.
acet UK and Nehemiah Project’s work together focuses on the Shining Star Project which seeks to bring transformational change to the lives of female sex workers in Bulawayo. The Shining Star Project trains women to become sexual health peer educators so they can share newfound knowledge and improve the health of other sex workers in the community. Through income generation skills, business management skills, and vocational training courses, the peer educators are invited to explore new talents and create pathways out of the sex trade for those ready to take this courageous step.
A key part of the Shining Star Project is to share their successful model of working with local churches so that female sex workers are openly embraced by church families. Many churches have the resources necessary to support sex workers but lack the skills needed to effectively minister to these women. The Shining Star Project mentors and coaches churches as they develop ministries and share Christ’s love and hope.
As the only church-based project in Bulawayo reaching out to female sex workers, Shining Star focuses on a holistic approach that involves building relationships and helping women to understand that they are unique and precious in God’s eyes.