According to UNAIDS’s 2004 annual report, in 2003 a record-setting 4.8 million people worldwide were infected with HIV and 3 million of these live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This region of the world in which we are working has only 10% of the world’s population but two-thirds of all people living with HIV infection. Young women (ages 15-24) are being infected at a rate 2 – 4.5 times higher than that of young men. There is so much to do. Pray for wisdom in using our time and resources in the various HIV/AIDS programs with which we work (Prevention, Education, Home-Based Care, Orphans, and Literature Development).
Radio is an extremely effective means of reaching large audiences throughout Ethiopia. As in much of Africa, people here depend on radio for their news, information and entertainment. It is typical to see Ethiopians listening to their AM/Short Wave radios at home, in the marketplace and alongside the road, even in the most remote regions of the country.
SIM-Ethiopia has for years used short-wave radio to reach Amharic, Somali and Gurage-speaking peoples within and outside this vast country, with its many remote and inaccessible areas. In 2003 Tenkir and Tamene, who work for the Gurage and Amharic language services of SIM-Radio, put together a series of 75 creative 15-minute programs in the two languages (using dramas, interviews and a “news magazine” format) which have now been broadcast and they are eager to continue this outreach, as the response from listeners through letters has been encouraging. Please pray with these dear brothers that:
- People will continue to tune in and hear a message of prevention that emphasizes behavioral change, abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage, which has proven to be the most effective means of combating this epidemic.
- Funding will be found to continue this vital work (it costs over US$ 100 to produce and broadcast a 15 minute segment).