Thinking outside the box in HIV management: the South Sudan success story
One thing that comes to mind when People Living with AIDS (PLA) is mentioned is how to take care of them and give them medicine and food to support their purpose in life, to UNICEF, the sub-recipient of UNDP/ Global fund to fight HIV, it was time to think outside the box.
Following the Chinese proverb that says “Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime” two community organizations; the Sabrin Association and the Jebel Association, an association of people living with AIDS (PLA) in the western state of Bahr Ghazal met at the Africana Hotel in Wau for a week between September 30 and October 5, 2010 and received training on Small Business Development, Income Generating Activities, and Business Management and Record Keeping and. About 30 participants attended the 5-day workshop.
Speaking at the workshop’s closing ceremony, State Director for HIV, Ms. Natalina Waderif told participants “now that you are living healthy and taking your ARVs, we don’t want you to depend on the government or any UN organization for help. humanitarian and food, that’s why we brought you here to teach you how to earn a living for yourself. I want to see you in the coming months in a booming business and the government will not hesitate to support you when it is discovered that you are serious.”
With these words, people living with HIV/AIDS in the western state of Bahr El Ghazal relearned different trades ranging from weaving, sheeting, weaving and local crafts. Two months later, they came out with the end products of their various trades.
Having seen the good products from this group, Prince Promise Iroegbu, the UNDP representative in the state, organized a trade show on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 for the organizations to showcase their trade to the world.
One of the participants, Mrs. Mary Batista, who also has five family members living with AIDS, deals with Suk-Suk Futa and Adilawazane and sells each set for 250 SDG ($100). She said that with this she has been able to pay for the children’s school and also feed them properly. Another good thing about the two associations is that they use their products to raise awareness of HIV by encrypting and weaving different messages into their products.
Speaking during the exhibition, the president of the Jebel Association (PLA), Mónica Julio, who spoke in Arabic, said translated into English: “we have tested positive for HIV, we think of living and not dying, judiciously taking our ART and I personally practice PMTCT”. , we have also decided not to depend on any organization to live but we have learned these trades to support ourselves or live. Today you are a living witness to our product and I tell you that we make a lot of money from the sale of these products, we must appreciate the magnanimity of UNICEF for training us and the Global Fund for keeping us alive through the provision of ART.”
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