From the field

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Success Stories

Red Ribbons for a living

“I am Muthukani (29 years old). My husband is a driver. He was affected by HIV. I have two children, both girls. My younger daughter is HIV positive. In 2005 at a government ART centre, I was approached by an outreach worker of the Positive Women Network (PWN+). I began to regularly attend support group meetings and receive counselling on taking care of my family’s health. In 2006, I heard that PWN+ was initiating Social Light Communications (SLC), a business wing to socially and economically empower women living with HIV.

From contemplating suicide to living with hope

“When my husband died because of some diseases related to HIV, I thought I had lost everything. At that time I didn’t know about HIV, and my younger child and I tested positive for HIV. When I saw my son was seriously ill with TB, I felt he would die very soon. I didn’t know where I would go for medicines and other support. I really got angry with my husband who gave us this disease. My daughter is ‘negative’, so I know my in-laws will take care of her.

Case Studies

The New Modern Garment Store

Thirteen HIV+ women from 3 separate towns, eleven of them widows, all mothers, and all from economically weaker sections of society, wanted to earn a living and support themselves. To do this, they formed a self-help group (SHG), and tried to open a savings account. But the bank turned down their request. The strength of an SHG is homogeneity, with members living in the same street or neighbourhood. In this case, with the women living in separate towns, they posed too much of a risk for any financier.