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The NLK Women online

This is Negem Lela Ken New HIV Positive women support organization (NLK) based in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. NLK was established by 5 HIV positive women in 2005. NLK’s mission is to intervene in endeavors to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impacts through realizing the social, economic and health rights of women living with HIV/AIDS, other affected women’s group and their families; and envision achieving HIV/AIDS free society and the world where the tragic is controlled;

Among others, NLK women are working to improve the predicament faced the target deprived women living with HIV/AIDS by establishing friendly internet center to enable the target women participation as an active online communication with international communities to express their cause and meet their needs through mobilizing resources that is stimulated by their own thinking and deliberation and which they can effectively influence.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Cali gal Michelle's picture

Erena- Thank you for sharing

Erena-
Thank you for sharing about the internet center- providing women with safe access is paving a way for them to connect to others and to resources. I would love to hear a story about how this access has helped one of the women there.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Erena Bayessa's picture

NLK women online

Dear Cali gal

Thank you for your important questions about the story of the NLK’s Women online has been posted and result. Straight to your questions in three paragraphs as follows:

The save internet service center for the target women I have posted is located at NLK’s target communities of Gulele and Addis Ketema in Addis Ababa City of Ethiopia . This is exactly where the NLK’s head office is located as well; Thanks to Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) based in Canada, encouraged us to take the initiative and provided generous financial support for launching the center in 2010. Currently more than 500 target HIV/positive women, girls and other vulnerable women are using our online communication services with their several peer members of NLK’s member networks and organizations both locally and internationally.

Since the service was stated, the target women have extended their connection incredibly with peer members of other NLK member networks and organizations both nationally and internationally(for example : TAPWAK in Kenya, MWDO in Tanzania, NEP+… and NPWE+ in Ethiopia) . They are being learned and share good practices with peer women members about their common cause. As the result currently, many of the target women using the online communication services have been able to overcome the challenge of isolation, hopelessness, and other psychological impacts of the pandemic; and ignorance of HIV transmission and its impacts as well.

Moreover, the target women and girls have been sensitized themselves, stakeholders on how to protect, live healthy and positive as well. The target women and girls are able express themselves and connect with others peers around the world and within the country as well, particularly, as the result of the connection, the target women are able to transformed themselves from dependents to service providers in their communities - as contributors on community issues and providers catering to the needs of many deserving HIV positive women, girls and other vulnerable women groups and poor members of their community. Besides, they have changed the perception of local stakeholders about people living with HIV in particular positive women. Furthermore, they are able to successfully inspire other HIV positive women to embrace innovation and creativity.

I also kindly request, if you would read the overview story of the NLK’s women background and their work as well as follows:
Negem Lela Ken New HIV Positive Women Support Organization (NLK) is an indigenous, not for profit and nongovernmental organization established by five HIV positive women in 2005. NLK gained NGO status with legal registration by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia charities and Societies Agency in 2006 with membership of 70 infected women. As January of 2014, the organization’s membership is in excess of 1200 members, associate members and 2200 volunteers of which women account for 90%.

NLK has a General Assembly which has supreme power over all corporate matters and has 19 members with wide ranging experiences; and has a clearly articulated constitution which governs all of its’ activities. NLK has five executive board of directors of whom 4 are female and 1 is male. The Executive Board of Directors formulates the Organization’s programs, policies and procedures. The executive Director is responsible for managing and coordinating all day to day operational activities and acting as NLK’s spokesperson.

NLK operates through National secretariat in Addis Ababa, has three Regional offices located in Ambo Town of Oromia Regional State, ShaoaRobit and Ataye Towns of Amhara Regional States of Ethiopia.
NEGEM LELA KEN NEW( NLK) means in English “TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY”

NLK’s mission is to intervene in endeavours to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impacts through the economic empowerment of low income women living with HIV/AIDS, other affected women’s group and their families; and envision achieving HIV/AIDS free society and the world where the tragic is controlled.

Thirty years has elapsed since the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. HIV prevalence and incidence remain steady or continues to rise. 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS in our Globe. An estimated 1.8 million people were newly infected with HIV worldwide in 2010. In Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, the impact of the epidemic remains worse than in any other region and it is estimated that 22.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, the incidence of infection and death rates due to HIV/AIDS remains steady or continues to raise (EDHS 2011) Ethiopia has the second largest population in Sub-Saharan Africa and is severely affected by the epidemic. The epidemic is systematically undermining the country’s effort to reduce poverty and the impact of investments in health, education and other development programme. The number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Ethiopia is approximately 1 million of which women account for 61% and the national prevalence rate is 1.5 (4.2 Urban & 0.6 Rural). Currently, there are 380,900 PLHIV need Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), 900,000 Orphans and Vulnerable children (OVC) due to AIDS, 27,978 new infections per year, 41,451 annual deaths, 38,404 HIV positive pregnant women, 7,806 positive births. The capital, Addis Ababa, and major urban towns account for an estimated 93% of the total PLHIV population (Biological&BehaviouralData and EDHS 2011).

The root cause for the HIV/AIDS problem is Violence against Women (VAW). In the target communities, low income women experience Violence in terms of physical, psychological and economic among others. As the result, the women forced to find a way to earn income in commercial sex work which leads them to unsafe sex, opportunistic infections and HIV acquisition and/or transmission. Yet again, HIV+ recognized women, experience violence, stigma and discrimination because of their HIV status. This behavior becomes a gatekeeper for many HIV positive women not to disclose their HIV status and adhere to their medical treatments for fear of Violence, stigma and discrimination. Therefore, violence against women has been identified to be the root cause to many women infected by HIV/AIDS ( NLK Assessment Data 2010)

Towards reversing the dual problem: the cause and the consequence, NLK has identified seven key strategic priorities and developed a feasible plan. The prioritized strategies are include: economic empowerment; antiretroviral treatment (ART) and adherence literacy, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT); home and community based care and support; awareness raising programs; participation in regional, national and international networks; diversification of NLK's funding streams; and investing in NLK's people and capacity.

Since its establishment, NLK has made the significant achievements by establishing strong links and good working collaborations with generosity support of several international and national compassionate donors. Among others, NLK has successfully reached: 13000 marginalized low income; HIV/AIDS affected and infected women in economic self-reliance and psychosocial wellbeing. 15,000 vulnerable women and youths with HIV/AIDS awareness and skills building, creating the necessary confidence for successful mitigation of impact, transmission reduction and prevention of violence against women (VAW); 803 women living with HIV/AIDS with palliative care and peer support; 165 grandmothers and OVC households with food support and capital provision to expand existing household businesses; and 280 OVC with educational support.

Besides, NLK has significantly built the capacity of the organization in terms of accounting and finance capacity, resource mobilization capacity, competency, monitoring and evaluation and human resource development - all aspects involving staff and volunteer community members.

As well, NLK is continuing its operation throughout the most pandemic affected target grass root communities of Ethiopia. Hitherto, the target women groups and their families are increasingly experiencing shortage of living, abandonment, isolation, stigma, discrimination and violence which involve physical and psychological harm in their communities.

Therefore, NLK is committed to maintain its clear and consistent path to continue balance the need of the target affected and infected women groups and their families on long termtowards truly achieving its stated Goal and vision

bayessa

lydiagcallano's picture

Wow! Great program!

This big step to help HIV/AIDS survivors is really commendable! More initiatives like this should be supported and sustained because the processes involved are long term. For one thing, there is a great need to educate the patients, their families and the general public about HIV/AIDS. We know that effective education entails gathering correct information and disseminating them through creative means. One lecture is not enough. Changing minds and hearts takes time, I just pray many years and supporters for NL so that many more HIV/AIDS patients can be reached. Kudos!

Ma. Lydia G. Callano
Iloilo, Philippines
+63 33 3158137 or 5138830

Trudy's picture

Inspirational Use of Connectivity!

Erena, The NLK's use of peer learning and the internet is not only amazing, but inspirational as well! I feel that your work may move beyond the pandemic and continue to improve the lives of women for years to come!

I am curious, with your continued growth, what challenges have you had to meet to continue providing internet connectivity?

Enjoy,

Sue (aka Trudy)

-------------------------------------------------------

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
(Walt Disney)

BUHENDWA NEEMA's picture

bien à vous

je suis vraiment heureuse de voir cette article honorifique,il est vraie que accées de femme à l'internet était un rêve ,qui maintenant une realité que nous vivons,malgre de difficulté, nous nous forcons d'acceder,nous sommes heureuse de ce grang changement, et pour cette article nous deisons merci et courager!!!
ainsi nous remercions en particulier notre communouté world pulse,pour cette instuction particulier,

neema

Erena Bayessa's picture

RE-THE NLK Women online

Sincerely regret, for not understanding the replay due langue challenges. Please, kindly request, do mind to re - in In English. Many thanks for your understanding, cooperation and time
Bayessa

bayessa

BUHENDWA NEEMA's picture

thank you

hello!
english irin't my langue,am verry sorry becouse i do no this langue,ok!

neema

Kristina M's picture

Great program

Thank you Erena for sharing this program with us. The center is a great example of providing safe access to the internet who are isolated in their community. By being able to connect with others, they can start to build bonds and receive support from each other as they move forward with their lives.

Kristina

JenMac's picture

Outstanding!--Thank you for sharing

This piece was very well articulated and the objectives of the program have been clearly stated. By building international connectivity in this manner, you have provided encouragement, unity, fellowship, and above all the framework upon which women can uplift one another even in times of extreme duress. It has been a pleasure to learn about this program and no doubt, I will surely share my knowledge of this program with others.
Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing,
Jennie

erincurley's picture

Empowerment

Dear Erena,

The work the NLK is doing is absolutely marvelous! The fact that the women are teaching and using the Internet to communicate with other communities throughout and to find resources as well as support is fantastic. I love how it is breaking down the boundaries of geography and allowing people everywhere to help each other feel loved and heard as well as spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS. Currently, the health and rights of women living with those diseases are tragically ignored in many places in the world and I love how the NLK was established by empowered women and has proven to be an invaluable tool to help they themselves and others in similar situations.

All the best,
Erin

lydiagcallano's picture

Bravo!

Erena, the work of NLK brings hope to women with HIV. Correct information, which can be obtained through the Internet, will help them and their families realize that HIV is NOT a disease but only a physical condition. The far better news is that HIV is REVERSIBLE and CONTROLLABLE under a healthy lifestyle, clean environment and effective stress management. Persons with HIV can definitely live a normal, happy and productive life as long as people around them accept the situation and cooperate, not condemn.

I pray that more women (and their children) will be able to access to this program. More power!

Ma. Lydia G. Callano
Iloilo, Philippines
+63 33 3158137 or 5138830

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