Losing a loved one is a difficult situation for anyone. However, the impact is worse for mothers who lose their husbands to HIV related diseases. Often they themselves are also infected, and the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease often forces them to flee their homes and restart their lives elsewhere. Under these circumstances, these women lose the sole breadwinners of their families, have no social support system, and have no source of income to sustain themselves and their children. In many cases, out of desperation, many women resort to commercial sex work in order to meet needs.
Mrs. Lalda Devi is one of the many beneficiaries, who could come up in their life and testify to the changes in her life due to the generous support of EFICOR nutrition and livelihood programme. Having seen the family’s worsening situation, EFICOR enrolled one of her daughter’s in the nutrition programme and the next one was linked with one of the local like minded organisation for care and support. The children were provided with school supplies and tuition fees, which enabled them to continue their studies without any difficulties. She was given assistance to take up fruit selling business.
Lalda Devi was enrolled in the vocational training programme organised by EFICOR, where she could learn different ways of making pickle and also preparation of household cleaning items (detergents etc). She was able to use these skills wisely and sold household cleaning items to the neighbours along with her fruit business. Last year, after gauging her struggle to obtain sufficient livelihood, EFICOR provided her a small capital to buy livestock. She wisely used the capital and added on to her existing business.
“Losing my husband pushed me in a desperate situation and I thought the best solution was to end my life.I was hopeless when I lost my husband and was wondering how I was going to feed my young children. We were disowned by our own blood relatives and there was no one to support us or even give us a one-time meal. However, through the project, I have received persistent love, care and support which has instilled a new hope and optimism in my life. I am now able to find work, earn money, which is often enough to meet my need and the needs of my parents. Now I am confident of excelling in my life.”- Mrs.Lalda Devi, Patna
HOW is EFICOR helping women infected and affected with HIV and AIDS?
THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF INDIA COMMISSION ON RELIEF (EFICOR), is an organisation working among the poorest and marginalised communities in India. It serves the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised in contexts of poverty, injustice and disaster irrespective of gender, caste, creed, religion, language or ethnicity with a vision of “Working towards a just, responsible and compassionate society.” EFICOR has been involved in addressing the issue of HIV & AIDS through 5 partners and 2 direct projects in High HIV prevalent pockets in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Mizoram. EFICOR is registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 on 30th April, 1980.
The key means through which the organisation helps these women to
- Counsel and give psychosocial support
- Enroll women infected and affect in support groups. In the support groups, the women receive care and support from others in the same situation
- Link with caregivers, home visits etc
- Link with government for treatment and other welfare provisions
- Link with like-minded organisations working in these areas to meet the needs of these women and their families
- Build skills and receive livelihood support which will enable the women to have a sustainable source of income
- Receive nutrition and educational assistance for their children
Since the 90s, the impact of HIV and AIDS has been devastating. In that difficult time, many organisations and agencies chose to address the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS. However, in recent years with competing challenges, the issue of HIV and AIDS and the people infected and affected by it has been greatly sidelined, as HIV and AIDS issue is no longer the issue that people would want to address or support. However, the need is still huge - there is a great need to enable those infected and affected with HIV and AIDS to secure sustainable livelihood and be accepted in society.
We are raising funds to cover the needs of 10 women headed households who have been infected and affected by HIV. Your contribution can help bring a smile to these children’s faces- who are already fighting a battle.
- 34,000 per family per year (Rs. 9,000 Per year for nutritional support per person (750/ month), Rs.20,000 per family for livelihood support, Rs.5000/year per for child education support)
- Cost for 10 families - Rs. 340,000