Livelihood enhancement for recipients of care is a critical bedrock to HIV control in Sierra Leone. While economic disparities largely contribute to new infections; out of pocket expenditure, uptake of HIV service and adherence to treatment have been affected due to limited livelihood opportunities particularly among young people and women. NETHIPS focuses on livelihood interventions to support economic empowerment of their members.
- Agriculture: Agriculture is a major employer in Sierra Leone especially for people in rural communities. NETHIPS is engaged in integrated agriculture to support livelihood activities of members. In particular, NETHIPS promotes animal husbandry, vegetable gardening and rice cultivation. NETHIPS has a model farm at Matindi, a rural community outside Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. At that farm, NETHIPS through support from Global Fund grant to fight HIV in Sierra Leone constructed and equipped a modern poultry. Additional, a pig pen was constructed in the farm that has reared and marked over 120 pigs. In the other parts of Sierra Leone, NETHIPS regional offices mobilize members to engage in vegetable and rice farming.
- Savings and Loan Association: The Savings and Loan scheme promotes savings and investment among NETHIPS members. Membership is usually not more than 15 people and not less than five. The savings and Loan scheme encourages weekly contribution from members based on agreed amount. The amount collected is kept in a safe place and records kept for accounting purpose. Members use the money from their association to start small businesses or to expand on the ones already started.
- Vocational and Skills Training Center: NETHIPS adopted skills development to break dependency and restore dignity through self-income among PLHIV. To construct and provide furniture for the vocational center, NETHIPS received grant from the Japanese embassy in Ghana. The vocational center offers courses in Catering, Masonry, Cosmetology and Hair dressing, computer studies and tailoring. Equipment used at the center were procured with funds received from Global Fund.
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