MPhil study projects

Exploring the contribution of faith-based organisations towards youth HIV/Aids mitigation: A study of selected mainline and Pentecostal churches in Harare province, Zimbabwe

Student: Charity Kanhukamwe

Country: Zimbabwe

This study investigated the role of Zimbabwean faith-based organisations (FBOs) in mitigating HIV/Aids among youth, focusing on mainline churches, exemplified by the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe, and Pentecostal churches, represented by the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe.

Objectives included assessing FBO involvement in HIV-related activities for youth, identifying potential barriers to their contribution, gathering suggestions from participants to enhance involvement and comparing programme types between denominations. FBO leaders directly or indirectly influencing youth programmes were surveyed using self-administered questionnaires.

Data analysis used descriptive statistics, frequency tabulations and qualitative methods. Findings revealed limited participation in youth HIV prevention programmes. Key barriers included relying solely on preaching for behaviour change, insufficient attention to youth programmes and concerns that addressing HIV in church settings could encourage promiscuity.

Recommendations for increased FBO involvement in youth HIV-related matters included integrating HIV/Aids education into all youth meetings, fostering open communication to combat stigma, promoting abstinence and fidelity, implementing organisational HIV policies and considering male circumcision and condom use due to continued unprotected sex.