Business training for HIV positive women

For a poor woman living with HIV in India, the challenges are threefold – economic hardship, stigma, and lack of employment/credit opportunities due to gender discrimination.  Borne at the intersection of these realities is the “Women and Wealth Project,” recently launched by the UNDP’s Regional HIV and Development Programme. 

The purpose of the project is to provide HIV positive women in India, Cambodia, and China with the business/marketing training, technical skills, and self confidence necessary to run small businesses, and as a result, live their lives with dignity that stems from economic and social independence.  The program also aims to address issues relating to stigma, discrimination, and self esteem by providing a support network within the working environment.  In India, the program is called the “Positive Women Network (PWN+)”, which has established a “conceptual design and printing business called ‘Social Light Communications’ (SLC) employing two HIV positive women and two men.” 

More after the jump. 

The program aims to provide HIV positive women with economic security through the eventual establishment of a network of “sustainable socially focused businesses.”  In fact,

When each business is generating sufficient revenue, the net profits will be pooled into initiating a micro-credit programme specifically designed for people living with HIV and based on PDA’s ‘Positive Partnership Project’ (PPP).

As articulated by Caitlin Wiesen, Regional HIV/AIDS Team Leader and Programme Coordinator,

“In a rapidly feminizing epidemic, the socio-economic independence of women is essential – it enables women to cope with the devastating impact of the epidemic on their family life and sources of livelihood. Smart skills and regular incomes can reduce situations of HIV-vulnerability and helps positive women live with dignity and security.”

To find out more go here, or contact:

Social Light Communications
9/5 Shanthi Apartments
Avenue Road Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034
Tel: +91-44-43021204
E-mail: sociallight@pwnplus.org, www.sociallight.in

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