This pilot scheme sees micro-loans provided to carefully selected groups of vulnerable young sex workers and people living with HIV, in order to generate economic resilience as well as expand HIV sensitisation in Kasese, Uganda.
In 2013, the RUSH Foundation and MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) joined forces to offer SAF’s most outstanding current and former grantees the opportunity to turn their most ambitious and disruptive ideas for HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa into a reality.
RUSH and SAF held a workshop in Entebbe in early 2014 with three SAF grantees.
Youth Empowering Initiative (YEI) was awarded a grant based on its proposal to create opportunities for the most underprivileged and vulnerable, through extending affordable financial solutions that would otherwise be unavailable to them and put them at the forefront of HIV prevention efforts in the community.
In this pilot scheme, YEI is providing micro-loans to groups of vulnerable persons (young sex workers, and young people living with HIV). These loans will be provided without personal guarantees but the groups of peers will provide ‘emotional collateral’. They will be assigned mentors and will be trained in both entrepreneurship and HIV/AIDS programming. Each group will have its own work-plan for community HIV activities as well as its own business plan.
This builds on YEI’s past work: for the past five years, the organisation has been involving young people living with HIV in community HIV/AIDS sensitisation through drama. YEI currently has 213 young people living with HIV registered in HIV post-test clubs and actively involved in community HIV activities.