NN: African women face AIDS in their communities with courage and creativity
>> ETHIOPIA: A little money gets big results, IRIN/PlusNews (Aug. 25)
Excerpt: Birkay Gadenah is not any bank’s idea of a good credit risk. The 36-year-old mother of five lives in the tin-roof shantytown of Burayu, 12km west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. But eight months ago, she and nine other women from the neighbourhood funeral society, or “edir”, formed a community savings and loan group. “It has changed my life,” she said.
>> SOUTH AFRICA: Thembi Maboyana: “Most people were dying alone in the shacks”, IRIN/PlusNews (Aug. 25)
Excerpt: “I found out I was positive in 1998, when I had TB [tuberculosis]. I was angry, guilty, shocked, feeling alone. All of my family knows, but I waited three years to tell them. Tapologo [a community-centred HIV/AIDS programme run by the Catholic Church] was wanting some caregivers so I joined because I wanted knowledge about HIV and AIDS, and I saw most people here in Freedom Park were dying alone in the shacks. I decided to volunteer because I was thinking about me – what is going to happen to me? Who’s going to look after me?”
>> Help for HIV-positive women, Toronto Star (Aug. 20)
Excerpt: As the program co-ordinator of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) for Namibia, [Jennifer Gatsi-Mallet’s] busy life is understandable – she is at the forefront of dealing with the lack of support, information and services available to women living with HIV in Namibia, and their need to have influence and input on policy development. Through ICW Namibia, which is run by women and girls living with HIV/AIDS, HIV-positive women are allowed to “advocate for their own issues, be it rights issues, economic empowerment issues, or sexual reproductive health issues,” says Gatsi-Mallet.
>> African Women Organisations Fight HIV/Aids, Public Agenda (Aug. 18)
Excerpt: African women’s organizations have showcased their activities to combat the HV/AIDS pandemic at the XVII International Aids Conference in Mexico. Following this, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) at a press conference launched a progress report showcasing the achievements of AWDF’s HIV/AIDS fund. The fund was launched in November 2005 to provide African women with the financial and technical resources needed to prevent, treat and provide access to all African women infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
>> Mom, daughter lead Kenyan village in AIDS recovery, Associated Press (Aug. 17)
Excerpt: This is the story of a village, spurred by two extraordinary women, rising from the depths of the AIDS epidemic to build a future for itself. In 10 years, with hardly any international aid, this poor farming community has founded a nursery school and feeding program, a pharmacy, a youth group and income-generating projects. The work touches more than 10,000 people in 10 villages and keeps growing. But it’s not just a list of projects; it’s a change of heart. Rabuor’s work embodies what experts consider the most effective approach to development: ”community-owned” programs in which residents, not just donors, set the priorities, and change comes from the bottom up.