“A New Dawn”
The Ilanga Self Empowerment Network Project represents a new dawn for single, HIV-positive mothers, who are otherwise faced with a very dire reality and set of statistics. In a country where women average a life-expectancy of only 33 years of age – the lowest in the world, an economy that features the highest inflation rate in the world, and a population of over 1 million orphans, considered the highest per capita number of orphans in the world, single HIV positive mothers in Zimbabwe are clearly faced with a unique set of challenges.
ISEN seeks to empower single HIV-positive mothers as a way of strengthening and revitalizing local safety nets that have been unraveled by HIV/AIDS, and to enable families to remain intact as a way of preventing children from becoming orphans due to HIV/AIDS.
The ISEN approach will address the basic nutritional, health and vocational needs of single HIV-positive mothers and their children and/or dependents by providing:
- nutritional assistance during the first year of implementation of the project plan
- sustainable access to health-care, HIV medications and multivitamins
- educational information and training in treatment adherence strategies and side-effects management
- access to a sustainable wellness program
- training in skills for managing micro-enterprise projects which can provide sustainable income for families
- education and training on becoming HIV prevention peer educators and support group facilitators by facilitating the transfer of knowledge by the graduating mothers, to a new group of program participants
- HIV positive low-income mothers
- Pregnant HIV positive low-income women
- Low-income women caring for orphans and vulnerable children
- Non-orphaned children and dependents of low-income HIV positive mothers.