Annemarie Boks works in Adi, DR Congo as a Director of an Aids Awareness Program established by the CECA 20 (Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique) church.
After training as a nurse, followed by Bible Training in Belgium and a training in tropical medicine in Antwerp, Annemarie left in 1989 for the first time to DR Congo (then Zaire). From 1989 until 1998 Annemarie taught at a nursing school.
After a forced evacuation in 1998, Annemarie obtained a Master’s Degree in Community Health at the University of Liverpool in 1999. Since 2002 she has been working with the Aids Awareness Program of the CECA 20 church.
In 2007 she moved to Adi, in the very north-east of DR Congo, where she now works to develop training for pastors, including leading workshops, as she seeks to support and encourage them in their ministry among those who are living with HIV/Aids.
DR Congo is the largest country on sub-Saharan Africa. With over 75 million people, it is also the country with the fourth highest population in Africa. AIM has been working in DR Congo since 1912, when it was known as Belgian Congo. The CECA church established by AIM is now a major denomination in DR Congo, and has begun Bible schools, hundreds of primary schools, secondary schools, medical schools, and a university.
During the time that she has been in DR Congo, Annemarie has seen a change in people’s attitudes towards the Aids pandemic. When she first arrived, people didn’t talk about it, and almost no tests or antiretroviral (ARV) treatments were available. Now, people are more open to talking about Aids, and the government is working to make tests and ARVs available in all of its health zones.
CECA’s Aids programme was an important factor in a national Aids training programme being started in January 2014, and since then Adi General Hospital, where Annemarie works, has begun a treatment programme for patients with HIV. In more recent years, Annemarie has also been focussing on preparing workshops for church leaders that encourage and equip them to serve people living with HIV and model to their churches an acceptance of those infected with HIV.
Annemarie is also involved the Bethesda project, which supports children who have been orphaned by their parents dying of the consequences of Aids by helping them pay for their school fees.
Could you partner with Annemarie in this work?