Positive Women's Network (PWN)

To plan and manage care and support programs, harness and build resources, build capacity, support and monitor developmental initiatives to improve the quality of life of women and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Aug 4, 2010

Final Report From PWN

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to this project. It is now fully funded!

We also have some very exciting news. On July 12, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) honored Positive Women’s Network (PWN) with a Red Ribbon award in recognition of PWN’s outstanding community leadership and action on AIDS.

Out of 720 nominations received by the UNDP from more than 100 countries, the 25 winners were judged to have demonstrated “the most remarkable efforts in terms of innovation, impact, sustainability, strategic partnerships, gender sensitivity and social inclusion.”

Founded in 1996 by Prudence Mabele, PWN operates in townships outside of Johannesburg to provide support to HIV-positive women and to raise awareness within the greater community. To combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, PWN encourages HIV-positive women to “come out” about their HIV status and form support groups to address discrimination.

PWN also provides resources about how to access treatment and Anti-Retroviral drugs, outreach on accurate HIV/AIDS information and strategies for supporting orphaned and vulnerable children.

Prudence is now in Vienna on behalf of PWN to participate in the XVIII International AIDS conference, where she will be honored at a formal awards ceremony. She and her fellow award winners will also host a forum for dialogue and exchange between community representatives and policy makers.

We are delighted that the UNDP has honored PWN with this prestigious award and extend a thank you to all of our donors who have helped support PWN’s commitment to AIDS awareness.

To learn more about how PWN helps women in South Africa, please see our focus story on Gladys Nikelo, a member of PWN.

However PWN’s work continues so we have created a new project for you to support – here http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/fight-hiv-aids-in-south-africa, project ID #6005.

Links:

Jun 29, 2010

Strong Progress Made by PWN’s Support Group Leader

With your help, the support group leaders reached a total of 859 homes in the PWN program areas. This is a notable achievement considering the difficulty of penetrating homes when it comes to dealing with issues relating to HIV and AIDS.

The support group leaders report many challenges they have to face as they try and reach more people, such as high rates of drug and alcohol abuse and incidences of women tolerating sexual abuse of their children at the hands of their boyfriends. The group leaders report that some women are forced to stay in such abusive relationships due to financial dependence.

The group leaders also report that although the government has played its part in promoting some awareness campaigns, it is still a challenge to combat stigma around HIV/AIDS. The group leaders report that through engaging the community as a whole in educational and awareness programs, they see noticeable reductions in stigma and more women seeking treatment.

By donating to PWN you are ensuring more families can benefit from this program.

Thank you for your support.

Mar 12, 2010

Working in Partnership to Achieve Results

On Tuesday, March 16, all donations up to $1,000 per donor, per project will be matched. Donate on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, and maximize your gift. International Women's Day was this week, and to celebrate amazing and strong women and girls in South Africa, we wanted to share with you the great work going on at PWN that you have supported. With your support in the past year PWN was able to serve approximately 300 people in 7 community groups. PWN excelled in getting the word out about HIV and AIDs – in particular, advocating for the human rights of women living with HIV and AIDS. They also participated in marches to raise awareness of the challenges faced by women who live with HIV and AIDS. Key to this is encouraging women to learn their HIV/AIDS status by undergoing voluntary counseling and testing. PWN ensures that they are available to women to provide them with counseling and enable them to access to other support groups in their area. PWN has been recognized by the Department of Health and Social Welfare in South Africa as an important partner in its outstanding service delivery to women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. They praise PWN for its work in: o Providing assistance to HIV-positive women at local hospitals and clinics o Assisting in obtaining Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARVs) for women with CD4 counts less than 200 o Providing assistance for members unable to work due to ill health to access the social development grant for disability PWN’s partnership with the Department of Home Affairs also allows PWN to help women get official identity documents such as birth or death certificates for the children whose mothers died. The documents are necessary to access grants. While the South African government does make available a number of social grants, few women know of these resources. PWN’s counseling services make women aware of the support that is available for them if needed. But PWN also assists women to develop their own plans to become healthy and find work. Their goal is to ensure that a culture of dependency on the grants does not occur.