Namibia Women’s Health Network (NWHN) and ICW Namibia, like many other NGOs, have been working with a group of approximately twenty-five HIV-positive men and women. The purpose of this organization is to offer much needed support for People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) to enable them to improve their quality of life. Group members discuss issues surrounding HIV and AIDS in their community and country as well as ways to combat the stigma and discrimination they face day in and day out. The group has been very active and committed to helping themselves and their communities.
What sets this PLWHA support group apart from others is its outstanding commitment to support each other and allow their communities to benefit as well. Members of the Omwene Tukwafa support group brainstormed the idea of a youth educational empowerment program now facilitated by Ipas. The group has also set up a trust fund for its members to benefit. All members contribute N$10 per month (when able) to go into the trust fund and accrue interest. There are also external supporters who contribute as well as proceeds from the Omwene Tukwafa garden. The purpose of this group is, first of all, to ensure that this specific NWHN/ ICW support group remains sustainable. Secondly, the fund will ensure that its members will never go without the proper nutrition needed to ensure that their antiretroviral treatments work correctly and efficiently, that no member has to give up their education due to their HIV or economic status, that family members do not have to bear the burden of funeral costs and, most of all, ensure the group is always able to hold their weekly meetings. Overall, the trust fund provides support and sustainability for its members, but also encourages them to actively pursue outlets, economic and social, to benefit their own lives.