In keeping with its vision, mission and core values, the UTCWI has been successfully implementing a healthy living programme over a period of 14 years. As the College supports the view that prevention education contributes to reducing stigma and discrimination, the healthy living programme aims at building awareness and sensitising clergy, seminarians and other church workers on sexual reproductive health issues, including HIV, and promotes healthy lifestyle practices and behaviours. The programme incorporates voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) skills training courses and reaches a wide cross section of personnel in the correctional and security services, volunteers and workers in the education, health and social sectors, as well as clergy and other church workers. As a result of the success of these courses, the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica has approved the UTCWI as the official site for the delivery of VCT skills training courses. In keeping with the global aim of eliminating AIDS by 2030, the UTCWI, through its healthy living project, has been making attempts to widen its target audience for participation in the VCT skills training courses. Trainers/facilitators for these courses include Faculty and graduates of the College.
As part of the delivery of the group education component of the VCT courses, participants sometimes interact with members of the key population group at public health clinics. The participants, including seminarians, therefore understand the importance of referrals as often they do not have enough information to adequately address the requests/needs of persons in this group.
The UTCWI affirms that the persons in the key population group deserve the right to be treated with dignity and respect and therefore welcomes a confidential protocol for referral and supports the protocol that was developed by the National Family Planning Board to streamline partnerships among government, civil society and religious groups to strengthen the response to the epidemic. The UTCWI is also of the view that a protocol for the confidential referral of members of the target group can strengthen the response to the epidemic.
The vision of the Healthy Living Project is Healthy Jamaicans living in harmony with each other according to God’s word.
Our mission is the promotion of Godly or healthy lifestyle practices and behaviours in the ecumenical community in Jamaica by upgrading the skills of religious/faith/lay leaders to provide effective awareness and sensitisation education on health issues, including safe sexual health, that would contribute to a reduction in chronic non-communicable diseases, and in stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV & AIDS.
Our core values are: