Imagine being a young, uneducated mother, widowed, in Ethiopia, a third world country struggling to modernize. You now know that the illness your husband died of was AIDS, and you are HIV+. The medicine helps the illness, but what do you do to support yourself and your children? People who know of your HIV status avoid you, even your own family! How do you earn a living and help your children have enough to eat and a roof over their heads? You may decide that the best thing for the children is to take them to an orphanage and give them up for adoption. You reason that at least they will have food and shelter, something you may not be able to provide them with. It breaks your heart, but what else is there? Prostitution? Theft? Some women are reduced to those choices.
Project Hopeful is working to change that. The Hope+ Sisterhood Ethiopia is a program that reaches out to HIV+ widows and their children, and gives them hope for a better future. We want these families to stay intact. This is done by educating the ladies about their HIV status, helping them to get and remain healthy, and helping each lady to begin a small, sustainable business to support themselves. They learn from professionals the importance of correct medicine management, the nutritional needs of an HIV+ person, hygiene, sanitation, money management, and business training. They receive business counseling to help them choose a business by which they can learn to support themselves. Each lady is given a small amount of capital to begin their business. These businesses start out very small, but can grow exponentially when these ladies are given a chance. We’ve […]