Engaging women in market value chain for greater profits and fair trade In Category Two,News

Overcoming grant mentality to achieve sustainable development for communities affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty

The negative impact of HIV/AIDS has further complicated survival for a large population of disadvantagedcommunity groups; a majority of them already living in abject poverty with limited access to essential services and opportunities.  Unfortunately, most HIV and AIDS work including national strategic responses have had limited interventions to address vulnerability and term mitigation on impact of HIV/AIDS.  Most efforts to this regards are often limited to short term community grants and reliefhence promoting agrant mentality that compromises efforts on sustainable community development.

WEMIHS empowerment as a key principle of the livelihoods approach has worked to overcome the grant mentality.  Evidenced of vulnerable households better coping with the impact of HIV /AIDS is best demonstrated through theirengagement inagriculture practices for improved household food security, saving and loans, small income generating activities (IGAs), market led value chains and in their advocacy for policies.

  • High demand for low interest loans particularly among vulnerable households (85%) female headed and demonstrated increased on average monthly incomes encouraged WEMIHS to design Village Development Fund concept (VDF)which is a community managed financing systemthat work with shares of members to build more reliable loaning financial services. VDF has enhancedconfidence among vulnerable women to engage in investment and asset building.
  • WEMIHS has also invested her efforts in helping groups expand organized production-related income generating activities and form cooperative producer groups effectively linked to market led value chains.
  • Groups with clear business plans informed by a clear understanding of their market and backed by effective constitutions that govern the use of loans by individual members and enforce repayment have tended to be more successful.  Savings are used for school fees, to purchase food for the family or to start small businesses