India – August 2008
While 89% of the estimated number of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are in the prime of their working life of 15-49 years, the majority of those, particularly women, who are members of networks, have poor access to livelihood and income generation opportunities, which adversely affects their quality of life. Support to PLHIV for self- and waged employment to ensure steady source of income is still limited.
The ILO as part of its workplace programme has implemented a project in which 33 women were provided vocational skills in tailoring. The training helped in skill building but not regular income, as the support for job placement was missing. Further, ILO worked on the inclusion of PLHIV in a joint UN programme led by the ILO, the Alternate Livelihood Programme (ALP), and being implemented in two high HIV prevalence districts where strong district-level PLHIV networks (DLN) existed. The ALP provides both skills development and support for jobs/employment. The consultations resulted in identification of PLHIV, and assessing and matching their needs with the training courses. Since October 2007, ten PLHIV are being trained and twenty-five have been enrolled for courses such as aluminium fabrication, beauty-culture, computer animation and desk-top printing. ALP will provide support to trained PLHIV for wage employment and placement to ensure regular income.
PLHIV networks require technical support as their capacity to plan and implement livelihood programmes is limited. The approach of combining two existing programmes and including PLHIV in existing livelihood programmes is a useful strategy as it complements strengths and resources.
The ILO will continue to include PLHIV in relevant programmes, and ensure that PLHIV are taken to the next steps of job placements and enterprise development. It will encourage PLHIV networks to identify and meet their needs in terms of capacity building through developing linkages with other livelihood programmes and organizations that support sustainable livelihood programmes.
Syed Mohammed Afsar, ILO, HIV and AIDS Senior Technical Officer, ILO, email@example.com
Manjunath Kini, Programme Officer, ILO, HIV/AIDS in the World of Work Project, New Delhi, India