eligious beliefs and values exert a powerful influence on the actions of individuals and communities around the world. Faith organisations and religious leaders have the power of numbers with an estimated five billion people affiliated to various religions. Faith is an important determinant of value systems, at both the individual and community levels (Pew Forum survey, 2009; Gallup, 2006). Religious beliefs often affect individuals’ behaviours which impact health, including age at marriage, family structure and roles and preventive health practices like strategies couples use to achieve their preferred family size.
Given their trusted and strong presence in communities, there is tremendous potential of faith organisations to contribute to and influence people’s choices on sexuality including those of young people. Many faith organisations have a long history of engagement in family planning outreach, service delivery, capacity building and advocacy. They have been active in providing information, education and outreach on family planning which ranges from pre-marital counselling and issuing of health related publications to incorporating of SRHR messages into sermons, community events, seminars and education forums for children and youth as well as individual visits to couples and families.
Available, affordable and accessible quality services on family health and wellbeing for all.
To mobilize faith organizations support for integration and streamlining of policies, services and funding for family health and wellbeing.
The Faith to Action Network’s mandate is two fold:
- Advocate for family health and wellbeing inclusion in resource allocation, policies and increased visibility in agenda settings.
- Advocate for provision of a wide range of quality sexual reproductive health services within faith organisation health facilities and for religious leaders to take a proactive role in sensitisation of congregation on SRH.
- Engage leaders of faith organisations in dialogue and mutual learning on shared values, goals and common messages for family health and wellbeing.
- Advocate for integration and mainstreaming of family health and wellbeing in funding, policies and programming within governments and donors.
- Serve as a multifaith platform to advocate for family health and wellbeing in collaboration with key stakeholders at global, regional, national and local levels.
- Increase awareness on the role of faith organisations, interfaith commitment and collaboration in support of family health and wellbeing to internal and external stakeholders.
- Improve understanding of scientific and/or faith based evidence for family health and wellbeing to internal and external stakeholders.
- Mobilise sustained resources for family health and wellbeing for the Network.