Enhancing socio-economic skills of girls affected by HIV

Brittany Nwadike is a Junior at Elon University, majoring in Public Health and Psychology. She applied to our virtual internship program with a special interest in addressing health challenges that communities in Uganda experience. She was placed with St Francis Healthcare Services, an organization whose mission is to to prevent the further spread of HIV and mitigate personal community impact of AIDS through provision of quality medical care, counseling and education to the infected and sexual reproductive health and rights and information to the young people.

With support from FSD team and Staff at St Francis, Brittany was allocated to work with a community of adolescent girls and young women also known as “Team No Stress.” The group is just one of the many community groups that are supported by St Francis Health Care. She centered her project on empowering the adolescent girls with multiple business skills so as to build their capacity to sustain their livelihoods. The community group is located in Buvuunya village which is 7km away from St Francis Health care services.

While conducting a community assessment, the community expressed an interest in building their skills in income generation, with particular business interests of Baking, Tailoring and making cosmetics. Among the three different choices, the women chose to settle with Baking.

Deciding to settle on this project was very important to the community group and the host organization because it provided related services/skills to the women helping them to learn how to sustain themselves financially plus taking care of their households. Additionally, it supplements on the organization efforts of empowering the women affected with HIV to pursue new tasks and reduce the chance of contracting HIV infections.

Brittany worked closely with her supervisor Mr. Kiberu John and she facilitated the session to empower the women with entrepreneurial skills through the baking sessions that were carried out during the implementation period. The women were involved in multiple workshops regarding learning the basics of baking, how to manage their money, how to market their baked goods, and how to reduce risky behaviors that can lead them to contracting HIV/AIDS.

Through the implementation of the project, the women gained valuable baking, business, and marketing skills. By learning these skills, the women were able to start their own baking business and provide for themselves and their families using the proceeds from their baking. They also planned to teach their children and relatives the same baking skills. “Team No Stress” named their group’s business “Brittany Delicious Cakes” in honor of Brittany, to thank her for the support throughout the project. Great work from Brittany, Mr. Kiberu John, and the whole team at St. Francis!

 

Project Intern: Brittany Nwadike - Elon University

Partner Organization - St Francis Health Care Services