The realization of every individual’s unique potential depends on the equitable distribution of resources and on the accessibility of sanitation, hygiene, and the stability necessary for his or her well-being. To build a healthy and safe environment for all, Religions for Peace works to care for the ill and the most vulnerable and help people living with illnesses regain their independence and dignity.
HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, and Support
There are nearly five million more people living with HIV in this decade than there were at the beginning of the twenty first century. In response to the disease’s growth, Religions for Peace is working to make sure that the most vulnerable populations have the knowledge and resources they need to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and care for those living with the disease. By strategically equipping those living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk with the skills and understanding they need to protect and support themselves, Religions for Peace opens up the necessary avenues for community action in addressing HIV/AIDS.
Saving Children from Preventable Diseases
Every year, millions of children under five die from preventable diseases. To address this ongoing tragedy, Religions for Peace launched an unprecedented global initiative to engage religious and interfaith communities in saving children’s lives by promoting ten simple changes in behavior, entitled “Ten Promises to Our Children.” At a national level, Religions for Peace has advanced and supported similar efforts. Its Faith for Life program in Kenya, implemented by the Religions for Peace’s Inter-Religious Council of Kenya in partnership with the Kenyan government and UNICEF, reduced the number of people who die from malaria by 50%, increased health of under six children by 15%, and enabled more than 12,000 religious leaders to reach more than 3 million congregants with messages promoting actions for maternal and child survival. In Myanmar, Religions for Peace empowered over 5,000 mothers, caregivers, and community members to play a key role on promoting behaviors that would save children from preventable and curable diseases in poverty-stricken communities.
Responding to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa aggravated the already dire displacement and poverty in the region. In response, Religions for Peace’s in-country partners, the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia and the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone worked closely with UNICEF and other organizations to lead targeted sensitization activities on Ebola prevention and reporting, provide critical psychosocial support to children and families affected by the crisis, and spread life-saving sanitation messages through sermons and letters from senior religious leaders. At the grassroots level, members of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia and the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone—including pastors, imams, women of faith, and religious youths—mobilized awareness-raising campaigns and helped ensure access to counseling services, food items, and treatment for those victimized by the Ebola outbreak.