Thursday, 8 October 2015
It’s taken 2 years to change a mind-set on ‘which soap to buy’.
But at last, with a lot of perseverance, the soap-making ladies on SIM’s Hope for AIDS Home Based Care
project in Naotcha, Malawi have done it!
This group of tenacious soap making ladies now has a regular clientele who can boast that their skin looks and feels much better. Fungal infections are clearing up. Clothes are cleaned and the cash saved can buy other commodities.
Soap making is an income-generating initiative of SIM’s HOPE for AIDS project in Malawi, where 1 in 10 adults are HIV positive. HIV related illnesses and overcrowded hospital systems have resulted in many patients staying at home to be cared for by family members.
HOPE for AIDS in Malawi partners with local churches to care for the sick and marginalised through training of church volunteers to provide patient care, support family members who are carers and train patients in small business skills and how to access loan schemes. Initiatives like this are giving dignity and improving quality of life for many Malawians whose lives have been impacted by HIV and AIDS.
Not only are skin conditions being transformed. One of the soap making ladies, abandoned by her husband after becoming sick to care for their three children, has also had her life transformed.
Because of the additional income she now receives from soap sales, she is now eating a better diet and feels much healthier and stronger. She is happy that she can now provide for her children, and even manages to put some extra money into a savings account at the village bank.
The soap-making ladies are also wonderful examples of extending to others the compassion they have been shown in their own communities. Upon hearing about a particularly needy new member of the project, four ladies all agreed that she should join their team, even if it meant sharing the profits five ways instead of four.
It was a joy to see these ladies, who still struggle with being sick, take a pride in their soap business. Even though they still struggle to make ends meet, they are willing to live out Christian principles and share what little they have.
You too can share what you have with those whose lives have been impacted by HIV and AIDS by donating to SIM’s HOPE for AIDS. You can donate online
or call our national office on 02 9580 1422.