The United Methodist Church is responding to the AIDS crisis in Zimbabwe through The United Methodist Church of Zimbabwe and the General Board of Global Ministries. The United Methodist Church of Zimbabwe is the third largest Christian tradition, behind the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, with about 100,000 members. It is bringing grassroots solutions to the AIDS pandemic in far greater proportion than their numbers. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is the worldwide mission agency of 10 million United Methodists in Europe, the Philippines and the United States as well as Africa.
Within GBGM, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Health and Welfare Ministries are two units responding to this crisis. UMCOR is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the United Methodist Church. Health and Welfare Ministries is the health care training and promotion agency of the United Methodist Church. It works to create and improve health care delivery throughout the world.
At least one third of the Zimbabwean population is HIV-positive. According to UNAIDS, Zimbabwe's life expectancy between 2000-2005 is estimated to be 26 years lower than it would have been in the absence of AIDS [March 2002].
For the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona UNAIDS reported on the impact of AIDS around the world, including Zimbabwe [July 2002]. It said:
The AIDS in Africa program of Health & Welfare Ministries and many African disaster response projects of UMCOR are among the global array of projects and programs of GBGM. The church in Zimbabwe has partnered with the whole church in innovative, empowering AIDS projects:
The heart of these and other church strategies is based on the people helping themselves, with the ingenuity of a vibrant church. GBGM resources enable them to expand such projects across Zimbabwe and beyond.
Photo collage: Scenes from the documentary "A Generation of Hope."
A Generation of Hope: What It Means to Prevail in the HIV/AIDS Crisis
Get the DVD "A Generation of Hope"! Send orders to for this free DVD and study guide to: "A Generation of Hope" DVD, United Methodist Committee on Relief, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church Room 330, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.