All of us at the Staying Alive Foundation are proud to announce our new social enterprise programme! The innovative programme combines business training, grants and ongoing mentoring, to enable youth-led HIV initiatives to build sustainable income-generating activities to fund their charitable work. After a long application process, we have selected six organisations to receive social enterprise support. They will now access a grant of up to $30,000, along with training and support to ensure solid and steady progress to reach their full potential.
Allow us to introduce you to the six new projects as part of the scheme:
Kisumu Disabled Self Help Group aims to set up a small agribusiness. Through the sale of eggs from free-range chickens, the Kenyan-based group will generate income to fund an extensive condom distribution and HIV testing programme in the local community.
Development Concept will establish an internet café in Malawi. The café will sell internet services to local young people, while acting as a hub for the dissemination of HIV information. In addition, using funds from the café, Development Concept will undertake HIV education activities within youth clubs in surrounding areas.
Queer Alliance is a Nigerian project, who will establish a hair salon. They will lease out chairs to local hairdressers to bring in funds. The salon itself will display HIV-related videos, while profits will be used to undertake HIV services targeted at LGBT populations in the local community.
Aware Girls is based in Pakistan. They will establish a boutique shop which will sell home-made embroidered dresses. The dresses will be made by 500 girls, helping them to access a fair and stable employment and earn an income. The profits of the shop will then be invested in awareness activities.
United Youth for Rwanda Development is a Rwandan grassroots group which will fund its HIV awareness efforts through an agricultural business. Using donated land, the area will produce honey, meat and electricity for sale. The profits from the business will be reinvested into an ambitious HIV awareness program targeting rural youth and prisoners.
Snapshot will use the social enterprise support to develop a mobile cinema project in South Africa. The cinema will show African films at eight townships per month, while also airing preventive HIV messaging. Funds will be raised from the sale of tickets and snacks, and will also be reinvested to provide services such as HIV testing to the local community.
We will be eagerly keeping in touch with each of these projects in the coming months to ensure they can develop sustainable incomes to fund their work. By helping them to develop sustainable incomes, they can begin to move away from dependency on donor aid, and work sustainably towards a future free from HIV. It will be exciting to see how these projects develop themselves, and we will keep you up to date with their progress on our blog!