Thursday, July 30, 2009

Did You Know This Before?

The capacity of low income women to provide HIV/AIDS education and support to the community and their families have been strengthened due to the knowledge and education they received through various trainings, Peer education and advocacy on women rights has helped women to talk boldly about women rights and sexual issues which are not normally discussed in African. This has helped to break silence about sexual issues among parents and their children which has been one of the biggest obstacles towards HIV/AIDS prevention.

Many women among cluster groups they were beaten by their husbands and have been sexually abused, before they didn’t know where to present their problems. Since trained on women rights they have been involving the concerned authority in solving these issues also helps other women on this. Furthermore the knowledge received helped them to make right decisions on family planning issues, now they thinking about life/ family in a wide perceptive. Salima Chungu reported that: ‘The knowledge she got helped her to tell other people about her sexual life, she talk about the danger of AIDS and having many partners. She is saying that she feels very strong about some of our customs which makes our life more difficult to women, such as wife inheritance and the fact that a husband family inherits the widows possessions even after a legal marriage. Women need to know there are laws which govern a divorce. She helps women to fight for their rights hence help them provide for their children’’

Apart from that women got entrepreneurship skills which help them prepare basic Business plan. This has helped them to access credit from various micro-finance institutions and establish small firms (poultry activities, selling food crops and rearing pigs) and be able to run them in profitable ways. The entrepreneurship skills that LIW members got also brought a great impact to the community because the members are regularly disseminating this knowledge to other people through teaching and the business they run. Many people try to learn from LIW members and through this people want to do their business not longer just traditionally. Low income cluster members are now able to provide support to their families and other community members. Some of them witness that they are no longer using their bodies to earn income, hence they directly prevented from acquiring HIV. Recently they supported OVCs and PLHAs in food and school materials.

Edna Hauli

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