The Christian Aids Bureau for Southern Africa (CABSA) is a non-profit organisation that was officially launched in 2001. In addition to its non-profit registration CABSA has been granted PBO status by the South African Revenue Service thereby allowing the issuing of tax certificates for all donations made to it by South African individuals and organisations. This means that donations to CABSA are tax deductible.
The core purpose of creating CABSA was and remains to assist faith communities in understanding and living out their calling in a world with HIV. This can best be understood through CABSA’s guiding principles explained as follows:
- Understanding and acknowledging the brokenness of the world, at CABSA – strive to bring reconciliation and hope in a world with HIV;
- They believe in their hearts and therefore all their activities, values and attitudes reflect that
- They are the body of Christ, who have a living hope and are compelled by the love of Christ;
- They are tasked to be Christ's ambassadors.
- They accept – as Christ accepted and uphold the dignity and worth of every human being;
- They serve God in practical acts of love and compassion;
- They search for answers with wisdom from the Holy Spirit,
And break the silence, by speaking the truth in love.
Based on these principles, CABSA guides and supports Christian communities towards HIV competence, through advocacy, information services, mobilising, training and networking.
CABSA is not a direct service / frontline organisation but enables, supports and assists organisations at grassroots level by helping build their capacity through increased knowledge and advice. CABSA guides and supports Christian communities to develop community and area specific responses to the challenges of HIV. CABSA also mobilises and empowers people and communities through advocacy, comprehensive online information services, a variety of trainings and workshops and helping other companies in their mobilising and networking requirements. A few examples of the work done by CABSA are:
- Setting up and participating in advocacy, knowledge sharing and networking events;
- Arranging and distributing a weekly Bible Message linked to the common lectionary that assists religious leaders in preparing their sermons. The value of these messages is confirmed by regular e-mails and positive feedback. Contributors represent males and females of all ages, from North and South, from academia and grassroots organisations;
- Gender and gender based violence remained a particular focus and a selection of posters and worship materials were developed. CABSA actively participates and promotes the Thursdays in Black Campaign. This campaign has grown to a point where it has obtained its own web presence at www.thursdaysinblack.co.za;
- In addition to the regular communication such as the CARIS Newsletter and the CABSA Network, CABSA staff authored articles in church and other media, CABSA staff were interviewed for local and national radio programmes and presented at conferences. Developing the User Guide for the “Positive in Church” DVD was a privilege;
- It is important to note that CABSA has three employees and makes use of volunteers and ad hock staff.
Challenges / opportunities
As with any non-governmental organisations and nonprofit organisations that are dependant on donations, finances are always a challenge. CABSA is grateful for all individuals, congregations, and organisations that see their way open to making contributions, donations, and training sponsorships.
The opportunities for making a difference are endless and the needs are numerous and growing. The need for support, advice, advocacy, and training continues. It is from this perspective that CABSA was pleased to hear about the impact made by people trained by CABSA on their Churches Channels of Hope workshop.
CABSA training operates on a cascade model where people are sponsored to attend training workshops. On successful completion of the workshop these trained facilitators or “Channels of Hope” then commit to make a difference and share their knowledge with people in their local communities.
Research on the impact of the work done by CABSA trained facilitators (Channels of Hope) supplies evidence of more than 29 700 people who were exposed to activities, more than 22 000 who responded to activities and more than 430 800 potential beneficiaries. This excludes the radio messages and the weekly, monthly and quarterly newsletters and communiques sent out by CABSA staff. Neither does it include the more than 200 events where CABSA staff had direct contact with more than 6 500 people through among other conferences, presentations and talks in churches during 2012.
The numbers mentioned also excludes the sharing and dissemination of information through the CABSA website (www.cabsa.org.za). The website contains a library catalogue in excess of 10 000 resources, and around 6 500 web-pages of information on HIV and related topics. The website receives more than 20 000 visitors from across the world each month.
To view Christian Aids Bureau for Southern Africa in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.