Training our counsellors

August 24, 2009

sun burstAt Jeevan Sahara Kendra, we are proud of our staff.  Hard working, big hearted men and women they are.  United by a desire to help people with HIV/AIDS and their families.  Deeply committed to the work and driven by more than just a job to pass time – each one knows that they are called for this work, and each one lives through the day to day challenges relying on God.

At JSK we are also happy to say that a number of our staff are living with HIV themselves – and know first-hand the challenges of what it means to wake up every day and know that their bodies are fighting with the virus.

People are by far our most valuable asset.  Our staff team shows this every day.  Through their interactions with others.  Through meeting people in their homes.  Through listening to our friends with HIV – whether they are just chatting about the weather – or whether they are sharing something very deep and personal.

This week three of our seasoned staff are participating in the Induction Training for Counsellors for the Public-Private Partnerships in running Integrated Counselling and Testing centres.  Simply put:  our staff are getting additional training.  It is training given by the government as we are now an HIV counselling and testing centre that is being certified and supported by the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society.

Each one of our three staff who are attending the training have met many, many people with HIV/AIDS and have already shared and helped them in marvellous ways.  But we want the process of learning and improving to continue – and are glad for our team members to participate wherever possible in order to upgrade their capacity – and improve our serve!


August 13, 2009


We celebrate our country’s freedom this week.  Sixty two years ago, our nation emerged from British rule and set about the great task of self-rule.

While so much has been done in these six plus decades, we know that there is still so much more to be done in Nation-building.

We are proud that the government is providing free Anti-Retroviral Therapy to people with HIV/AIDS.   We are happy that our health system is encouraging people to get tested for HIV – and that many children who would be born HIV positive are being protected through the medications given to pregnant women with HIV before the delivery.

At the same time we know that so much more needs to be done.

So many in our nation who have HIV are still so afraid to even find out about their status, that they do not seek help in the first place.

So many, who have some access to government resources are bound by their own broken relationships.  By feelings of despair and hopelessness.  By habits that they cannot break out of – some seeking solace in the bottle, others in pornography and serial sexual relationships.

I got a call yesterday from a man with a good job.  A man who to everyone’s outward appearance is successful.  But a man who keeps giving in and visiting prostitutes for sexual pleasure.   He hates what he does – but seems powerless to overcome.

Let us celebrate freedom day this year with real freedom.  Freedom from the habits and actions that we loathe in ourselves.  Freedom from the things that we find ourselves doing over and over again, and have tried to change many a time, but still wake up at the same spot.

We know that it is not possible to change on our own.  If it were, we would all be perfect long ago.

We need God in the picture.  A higher power who is loving and caring – and who is patient enough to help us forward.

We need each other.  We need to be open and honest with ourselves – and with each other.  Keeping each other accountable.  Moving forward in mutual help and support.

Our country did not gain freedom by the actions of a single person – no matter how great our leaders were.  The freedom movement took root when thousands upon thousands acted.  Small, individual – and often costly acts – which lead to the change that we have enjoyed over the past 62 years.

We at Jeevan Sahara Kendra are committed to seeing the process of freedom move forward.  Step by step.  We want to see ourselves move from areas of bondage in our lives to lives lived in self-control and freedom.  Freedom is not giving in to every impulse – but rather being able to humbly master our thoughts, actions and responses.

We welcome you on this journey with us.