Jesus recounts the story of the Good Samaritan not by accident. Samaritans of his day were considered unclean outcasts, pariahs. Yet Jesus chose to place a Samaritan at the center of what would become one of his most famous parables.
Just as Jesus openly engaged those who others would cast aside, IMA World Health works in communities some might deem outcasts. We do this not only from the Biblical mandate to serve others, but for the greater good of public health. Men who have sex with other men, intravenous drug users, sex workers and others who stand a disproportionate risk of contracting HIV and AIDS deserve the same opportunities for health, healing and well-being as everyone else.
It is not our place to judge those we serve. It is merely our place, our mission, to serve. IMA World Health has a mandate to serve the most vulnerable, and we see working with key at-risk populations as living out the expectations our donors – and our faith heritage – expect of us. Not affording access to protection, treatment and care to at-risk populations runs afoul of science, ethics and the lessons Jesus taught us so many years ago.