Health Financing/Insurance

Small business enterprise project for HIV-positive women in Asia

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For helping women living with HIV/ AIDS to lead a life of dignity and economic independence, the UNDP Regional HIV and Development Programme and Thailand’s Population and Community Development Association (PDA) together have launched a “Women and Wealth Project (WWP)” in Cambodia, China and India. Under the present project on people living with HIV/ AIDS, groups of women living with HIV run small, market-savvy social enterprises, with technical and marketing support from PDA, UNDP, international agencies, and the private sector. PDA provided the HIV positive women with business management training to assist them in developing business plans before establishing their specific enterprises. Access to credit is considered as a human right. The beauty of this project is the economic empowerment it provides for the women, individually and collectively, and using a new and fresh approach through the strategy of business to provide them with business skills that they can use in overcoming the barriers associated with living with HIV. As part of WWP, the Cambodian Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (CCW) of the Cambodian People Living with HIV/AIDS Network (CPN+) has set up a garment manufacturing business called “Modern Dress Sewing Factory” (MDSF) employing 30 HIV positive women. In India, the Positive Women Network (PWN+) has established a conceptual design and printing business called “Social Light Communications” (SLC) employing 2 HIV positive women and 2 men. In China, Colorful Clouds Yunnan, a female wing of AIDS Care China – a network of people living with HIV – has set up “Positive Candle Works,” (PCW) a 100% beeswax candle manufacturing factory employing 4 women. Each business under this project will be marketed under the common “WE” brand (Women Empowered), with the aim to gain market access for their products and services both locally and internationally.

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