EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF TANZANIA- SOUTHERN DIOCESE (ELCT-SD)
REGIONAL OUTREACH ADDRESSING AIDS THROUGH DEVELOPMENTAL STRATEGIES (ROADS PROJECT)
LOW INCOME WOMEN CLUSTER (LIW)
ELCT-SD have for longtime been working with different organizations both within and outside the country. ROADS Project is a community based project funded by Family Health International where ELCT- SD act as an Anchor organization. Under this project ELCT-SD manages two clusters; Low Women Income cluster and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) where Mr. Elineema Mshana works with them as a Field Officer. Both clusters are situated in Makambako town about 180KM from Iringa region.
- To help Women generate income through small business activities to reduce dependency on men, i.e. to make women become independent economically.
- To empower women to fight against women violence in their respective areas.
- To reduce new HIV cases by providing them with appropriate knowledge on HIV/aids through seminars and trainings.
- Sharing with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), Most Vulnerable Children and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) what they have earned from their small activities.
- To equip them with life skills in order for them to help their colleague
- To build a generation of empowered women who are mentally and psychologically freed from their cultural ties.
- To build an HIV/AIDS free community.
- Enabling Women fighting AIDS through developmental strategies.
- Empowering Women to fight against HIV/AIDS and poor cultural ties.
NATURE OF LIW MEMBERS
Naturally, the cluster is composed of small entrepreneurs who run small income generating activities. These activities include squeezing of sunflower oils or seed processing. The growing of sunflower in Makambako enables them to have sunflowers for squeezing oil which in turn are sold and provide them with income.
The photograph shows one of the cluster members in the process of squeezing oil from sunflowers. Such activities provide Women with income to manage their life taking into consideration that most of them are single parents.
Other activities include Kiosk activities where these mothers sell tomatoes, vegetables, onions, fruits and others.
HOW THE CLUSTER FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS
Cluster members receive AIDS knowledge including Peer Education skills. After the training on peer education skills become good peer educators who educate their surrounding community in their working environments through Immediate Social Network approach, this approach maximizes the quality and frequency of interaction with trusted peers, and minimizes time/travel burden and attrition of peer educators who volunteers.
Where the client need more information, peer educators link the client with other information centers for more clarification and further steps including voluntary testing. Such practices have enabled a large number of Makambako societies to be reached with AIDS information and knowledge.
MANAGING PERSONAL DUTIES WITH PEER EDUCATION ACTIVITIES
As stated earlier that, this work is a hundred percent voluntary, therefore it is the duty of a Peer Educator to balance her time and peer education activities. With ISN (Immediate Social Network) approach cluster peer educators have managed to develop a well elaborated chain of work.
Special prepared and User-friend forms are prepared for peer educators to fill in information on person received the education on HIV/AIDS, such information include; the place of event, age of the person received education, questions raised during the session.
These peer educators meet once per month foe collection of forms and discussion of matters raised during the session.