Red Ribbons for Living

I am Muthukani (29 years old). My husband is a driver. He was affected by HIV. I have two children, both girls. My younger daughter is HIV positive. In 2005 at a government ART centre, I was approached by an outreach worker of the Positive Women Network (PWN+). I began to regularly attend support group meetings and receive counselling on taking care of my family’s health.

In 2006, I heard that PWN+ was initiating Social Light Communications (SLC), a business wing to socially and economically empower women living with HIV.

I have been trained by SLC in screen printing, red ribbon making, saree and salwar design work and in maintaining simple accounts. With SLC's support, I earn money by making red ribbons, designing and through printing work. My work has not just brought money, but confidence, self-esteem and courage to face the future. My income supports my family expenses and I am now striving to earn more, to sustain the lives of my two daughters. I am respected by my husband and neighbours because I earn for my family.

With regard to my experience with SLC, I have built my skills and talents and have gained experience in handling small scale businesses. I am happy to work with other women living with HIV in this city and my dream is to earn more, so my daughters can live a healthy and happy life, not bothering about our HIV status.

Read more stories like Muthukani's at the Positive Women's Network website here.