Churches in Africa, rooted in communities, are influential institutions which can be a force for transformation - bringing healing, hope and accompaniment to all people affected by HIV.

EHAIA was launched in 2002 to enable churches in Africa to access information, training, resources and make contact with other churches and bodies working in the same field to help them deal with AIDS in their communities.

Initially an "ecumenical initiative", EHAIA reached about 9000 participants during its first four years. Reports from its meetings tell moving stories of insights gained and how churches and individuals changed in their attitude to sero-positive persons.

The project now brings an ecumenical dimension to the churches' care, education and counselling programmes. It strives to assist churches and related organizations to achieve professional levels of efficiency, coordination, capacity-building and communication in all HIV-related activities.

A project leader and assistant based at the WCC in Geneva, five regional offices and regional consultants, and two theological consultants staff the project, with guidance from an international and regional reference groups and in collaboration with the All Africa Conference of Churches, sub-regional church fellowships, national councils of churches and associations of people living with HIV.

EHAIA conducts workshops and training programmes; responds to individual requests for advice from churches on HIV church policy development, pastoral training or project planning support; and distributes information and resource materials in the regions and via a website and electronic newsletter.

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