This program assists in empowering HIV positive and vulnerable women in realizing their potential economically. Further it acts as a revenue generation where by these trained women generate revenue by providing services to the local community members as well as their families. NLK organize entrepreneurship and basic business skill training sessions for IGA targeted HIV positive women.
The training was focusing on key topics like:
- Basic business and entrepreneurship skill concepts presented in such a way that tailor-made for the targeted women, most of them are illiterates.
- Concepts of small scale market survey, skills how to identify and select feasible business lines, micro and small level business plan preparation, skills in financial transactions recording and record keeping.
- Enhance understanding of the trainers on decision making, gender dynamics and other essential life and business skills.
Further, the program also provided a start up capital per each beneficiary who went through the training and HIV positive women in order to assist them to start and properly manage their own small and micro businesses. Currently 18 women have established a cooperative business entity called Ediget Fur Producers cooperative producing and selling various handcraft products. The program is supported by Stephen Lewis Foundation, African Women Development Fund, Global Fund, Addis Ababa HIV/AIDS prevention and control office and World Learning Ethiopia/USAID. The program also granted machinery such as sewing-machine and individually engaged in small and micro businesses. Ensuring the sustainability of the initiated businesses by means of establishing strong partnership with micro and small business development agencies as well as micro finance service provider institutions is among the successful strategies of the program.
Outcomes of Women Economic Empowerment Programs
As a result of various supports obtained from the program, the targeted women found themselves skillful enough to establish and run their own small/micro level businesses.
The coffee ceremony discussion sessions conducted among the vocational skill trainee women enhanced the knowledge and understanding of the participants on the issues of ways of HIV/AIDS transmission, menses of prevention, community supported home based care services, gender based violence and its consequences, stigma and discrimination and the consequence of them was realized.
One producer's cooperative business is established by 18 beneficiary women and the cooperative association received grant of working building form Gulele sub city administration micro and small business development agency.
More than 250 women acquired basic business skills and various vocational skills as a result most of them currently are engaged in income generating economic activities. Besides, they are appropriately adhering to their Antiretroviral (ARV) and Prevention Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) treatments.