Monday, March 1, 2010
The first group of women Nicole Minor (director of Pangea Network) selected to help are HIV-positive women, most are widowed, all struggling to survive and support their families. Because there is no security, rape is common. Some men believe having sex with a virgin will cure their illness. As a result, AIDS is prevalent in this slum.
These women work as a cooperative. They each create their own business plan, take leadership and bookkeeping training, chip into a “merry go round” to financially assist each other with their businesses, and hold one another accountable.
During our meeting, each stands and expresses their deepest gratitude for Nicole and proudly expresses the progress and development of their businesses. These women are now self-sustaining, confident women. Some beam with the news they are able to pay to send their children to secondary school and amazingly, even to college.
These women no longer await their untimely deaths. They are focused on providing their children with a better life and find there is no use in sorrow. As Abigail says, “laughter, after all, is a far better medicine.”