Association Responsabilité-Espoir -Vie et Solidarité (REVS)

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Association Responsabilité-Espoir -Vie et Solidarité (REVS)

Burkina Faso
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

While numerous efforts have been made to respond to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso, most of these strategies fail to effectively address the emotional trauma and economic stress that HIV-positive people endure. Women face a particularly difficult burden, and Martine Somda is working to lessen that burden by helping women gain employment opportunities and play a more active role in the prevention and treatment of those with HIV/AIDS.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

HIV/AIDS-infected women often lose their households and sometimes their husbands, and are frequently dispossessed of their property by their in-laws. As a result, they find themselves on their own, fighting the disease while trying to find sustenance for their children, whom nobody wants to take care of. Often, the services they receive from government programs and non-profit organizations fail to address many of the social ramifications they face as a result of their HIV-positive status. The main drive of Martine's approach to the HIV/AIDS response is her belief that women will only be successful if and when they themselves are in charge of the conception, advocacy and delivery of programs. She believes that wherever decisions affecting women living with HIV are being made, women should be represented as stakeholders. Martine's work is new in its shift in focus from the purely health-related aspects of AIDS intervention, to the empowerment of women through a variety of means, particularly economically. Her approach includes traditional methods, such as providing a package of services covering the whole range of needs of People Living With AIDS (PLWAs), and fostering a community to promote solidarity and mutual support. However, Martine takes this work a step further by devoting much of her time to helping women take part in sustainable activities, including income-generating and self-employment projects, depending on their skill, interest, and geographic location. By enabling HIV-positive women to overcome the stigmatization and discrimination they face and become stakeholders in society, Martine hopes to improve their living conditions and ease the social burden they bear. This perception shift is significant because it views women not as victims of the disease, but rather as equal and full citizens, and Martine hopes other West African countries will adopt this mentality to their own HIV programs, as well as those related to other marginalized populations.