- Hope messengers are successful in reaching a large number of people and creating awareness about HIV and AIDS, reduce stigma and discrimination, creating demand and increasing service uptake. These are HIV positive people that were trained by the project to provide assistance to the project. They are found in all Dioceses. Significant success was recorded towards the greater involvement of PLHIV in the national as well as local response against the epidemic.
Some of the Hope messengers become productive other than reaching PLHIV. For instance; at age eighteen,
Tilahun Getachew had lost both father and siblings due to HIV and AIDS. Outside of school, he spent his time at home caring for his bed-ridden HIV-positive mother as Hope messenger. As the oldest of four siblings, he also took his father’s role as head of the household. Things changed for Tilahun and his family when he was given the opportunity to be a part of the PEPFAR-funded International Orthodox Christian Charities/Ethiopian Orthodox Church HIV and AIDS program. This PEPFAR program provided sustainable income generating activities for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS. Tilahun was given training on effective business management and a start-up capital. This allowed him to open a convenience store which now helps support his family and pay for his siblings’ school tuition. “I wish to develop the shop even more,” said Tilahun. He continued to say: “With my earnings, I have opened a savings account for my future education in addition to my siblings’. I understand the importance of ensuring that my siblings complete their education. I also plan to open other shops to better support my family. Now, I feel independent.”
- The other one is a priest who discharges his pastoral responsibility. Gebremeskel is a priest living in Bamabasi woreda of the Benishangul Gumuze Regional State. From the very start of the IOCC project in the area the priest is serving as manager of the hope centre, chairman of the woreda Project Advisory Committee (PAC) and Advocacy committee, clergy TOT. He sensitizes the community on stigma discrimination and denial, abstinence and faithfulness and contributed greatly to the sustainability of the intervention by mobilizing the community to own the project. Moreover, he was involved in the evaluation of the Developmental Bible book published by the department and launched in Addis Ababa in the presence of his Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the EOTC. It was prepared with the assistance obtained from UNFPA for teaching in the parish churches by integrating HIV&AIDS and development issues into the daily teachings of the Bible. Priest Gebremeskel has continued in teaching the congregation using the Developmental Bible book.
- Getachew G/Hiwot is an older OVC living in Shire-Endaselase, Kebele 04. He has two sisters. Four years back, the life of his Father was taken because of HIV/AIDS. His mother was also suffering from chronic illness. Prior to his death, the father was the only bread-winner of the family. Due to this desperate situation, the family was broken.
To address the need of this suffering family member, Western Tegrai Diocese Global Fund R7 project has selected Getachew as one of IGA beneficiary. As part of the beneficiary, Getachew was provided five days training on business skill and management as well as saving money. At completion, he received a startup capital of Birr 3,855 to establish a business of his choice.
Getachew bought 4 second-hand /used/ bicycles with the money he obtained from GFR7 IGA program. Two years ago he was eighteen, and as the oldest of three he took his father’s role as head of the house. Currently, he is able to secure a daily income of 60 birr by renting the bicycles. Getachew said “Within a short period of time, my life has changed; all my family consumption or basic needs are covered by this business. Now, I feel independent.”
- Nibret Kassa is one of the beneficiaries of the Global Fund R7 project in Baherdar town. She is an orphan, lost her family as a result of the AIDS pandemic. She has started the Income Generating Activity in June 2010.
Under the support of GF-R7 project, a barber house was opened for Nibret, a year-and-half ago in Baherdar town Kebele 11. She pays a monthly rent of 40 Birr for the barbershop. In spite of the location of the barbershop, at the outskirt of Baherdar, since then, she is able to save 1000 birr, a profit out of the hairdressing. She has a daily gross income of 62 birr on average. Nibret anticipates the expansion of the hair salon and hiring another barber to increase her income.
- Wzt. Tsehaynesh Asmelash is a 23 year old beneficiary of the Global Fund R7 project in Axum town of Kebele 03. She is an orphan but HIV negative. She lost her parents as a result of unknown chronic disease (she has no information about the HIV status of her parents). Her father had died before 9 years & she lost her mom 6 years back. The brood in the family are five (three females & two males) including Tsehaynesh. She is the elder daughter & the mere bread-winner in the family. Her family resides in the rural part of Axum. She started the Income Generating Activity in July 2012. With the start-up capital of ETB 4,425.25, Tsehaynesh opened a shop. She pays a monthly rent of 140 Birr for the shop. Her daily sales range from 200 – 300 birr with a net profit of 50 birr on the average on daily basis. Tsehaynesh’s current capital is estimated to be 6,000 birr (October 2, 2012). She thanked the EOTC-DICAC for the support & satisfied to be profitable. During the monitoring visit, one of her sisters, Roza was there. She is a 13 year old girl with grade eight. Roza is a ranking student who inspires to be a physician when she joins a university in the future.
- Teklewoni Tilahun is an orphan & resident of Axum with age 18. He is the 4th child in the family with surviving one older & two elder brothers. He lost his mom before 14 years and his father while in the womb. Both of the parents died due to unknown cause presumably because of AIDS. He was a grade 9 student & interrupted as a result of economic reason but wishes to resume in the near future. He was firstly earned a start-up capital of 3,000 Birr in July 2009 & bought two used bicycles to begin the IGA. Amazingly, he added three more after one month of starting rental. He then bought three more to make the number of bicycles eight. Teklewoini is a successful and ambitious teenager in improving his quality of life. In June 2012, he purchased a bajaj with his closest friend with 46,000 Birr (through equal contribution). He has a shorter plan to refund 23,000 Birr to his friend and own the bajaj. At the moment, Teklewoini possesses 4 bicycles and one bajaj with daily average net income of ETB 230 – 300 from both. As a side business, he attended technical training on cobble stone making. He currently supports his grade five older brother. Teklewoini hold a driving license for vehicles with 12 passengers’ capacity and has an imminent plan to buy a minibus.