PDI Global
[ Village Development Partnership ]
 
 WHAT WE DO
 
Positive Partnership Program

Disappearing into the corners of a dusty couch, Poom turns her gaze upon her 12-year-old son, Kai. Poom has AIDS, Kai does not. Poom became infected from her husband, who has since died, leaving her alone to care for their son. Due to the stigma associated with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) in Thailand, these people are denied the opportunities most have to participate in income-earning activities, often becoming a burden to family and friends and losing the will to fight against the terrible disease.


Two sisters partner for a laundry service

At a local PLWA community meeting, Poom learned of the Positive Partnership Program, implemented by the PDI – and the Thai non-governmental organization Population and Community Development Association (PDA). This unconventional project pairs HIV-positive individuals with uninfected partners, providing business loans of US$300 to each partner, along with business skills training, so that they may enter into a business together. Apart from earning money in whatever the activity, whether agricultural production, agro-business, service industry or entertainment, the HIV negative individual also agrees to increase the awareness and the understanding of the realities of AIDS within the community.
 

Using criteria established by PDI - PDA, the negative partner disperses accurate information about HIV/AIDS by discussing prevention and by making
people aware of the real risks associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS and that PLWA’s deserve to be treated as ordinary people. This approach is having positive results of decreasing the discrimination PLWA’s have previously suffered. The PDI - PDA team assists with management of the loan and the business, offering training courses throughout the project on financial management and business skill development, as well as on proper health care. The results have been very encouraging, with an 85% on time loan repayment rate to date, highlighting the fact that PLWA’s are more than capable of owning and running successful businesses.

Poom and her HIV negative sister began their laundry service over a year ago. This has not only provided Poom and her sister with a level of income higher then many others in their community but has given Poom a positive outlook for the future. Furthermore Kai is now accepted into the community and can go to school with his peers. He is no longer shunned. The Positive Partnership scheme is a new concept designed to bring the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS to its knees by adopting the view that access to credit must be viewed as a basic human right. The Positive Partnership project is one step towards a solution in reducing the stigma associated with the disease and offering a way to create a better life for those infected and affected, while simultaneously assisting in poverty alleviation.
 
Siblings partner to sell fruit

 

PDI is a 501(C)(3) organization based in the United States committed to eradicating poverty worldwide