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Success Stories

Case Story 1

“One time support bring change in my life” Meseret’s experience

W/ro Meseret Arega, 28, is living in Dawunit woreda in North wollo zone of Amhara region. She is married and a mother of one daughter. Meseret knew her HIV status 6 years ago when she was sick of HIV related illness. After she knew her status, she immediately became a member of Hiwot Melese PLHIV Association by the effort of her colleagues.

Meseret as a member of the association became  a beneficiary of DCA/NAP+ Project . As a result, she has been participating in the  peer session for the last three years. Being the participant of the peer session, Meseret has got adequate knowledge on the 12 topics of the session including PMTCT services, ART Adherence, family planning , condom use, saving and others facts about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention mechanisms.  Meseret explains, “I got 8 hens from Ethiopia Orthodox Church (EOC) to start and  generates income for my livelihood. Now, the 8 hens multiplied into 16 hens and started laying  eggs on a daily basis if properly feed.”  ”The income generated from the hens is quite remarkable and is estimated to be nearly 40 birr a day and around 1200 birr per month. But, I use part of the egg for home consumption and part for selling . I have good market for eggs. The cocks are sold while the hens are kept for reproduction and egg production. I sell each cock up to 120 birr and more sometimes.” She adds, “presently I have birr 5000 in my account and planned to intensify my poultry production in addition to opening cloth shop in the near future.” Finally, she would like to thank DCA/NAP+, Hiwot Melise PLHIV Association, the peer leaders who facilitate the session, the participant of the peer session and all the member of PLHIV association for their effort in giving and sharing their experience in how to live positively with HIV along with the knowledge of developing saving culture as a basis for business start.

Case story 2

“Start from nothing,” Nigatu Ayalew

Nigatu Ayalew, 40, is living in Dawunit woreda in North Wollo zone of Amhara region. He is married and a father of one son. Nigatu knew his HIV status before 10 years ago while he was ill off HIV related diseases working in Afar region. Soon after he came back to Dawunit, he

worked to establish Hiwot Melise nonprofit PLHIV Association which is found in the woreda .As the founder of the association, he is still working as the secretary of Hiwot melise PLHIV Association. Nigatu says,” previously, with the fund source of global fund I served as home based care providers and sustained my life by the transportation payment which was birr 250 per month for two years long.  Then after, I worked as a seller in petty trade shop of the association for 3 years by birr 300 on monthly bases for my livelihood. In the mean time, members of the association have dispersed as the association became non functional and then I went to Afar region to work as a daily laborer for my livelihood. However, I could not continue to work as a daily laborer in Afar region and I returned back to Dawunit woreda immediately at the time of DCA/NAP+ project was starting implementing its activities.”  Nigatu then elected as a peer leader and got training on peer education for 5 consecutive days. After the training, he established Temisalet self help group being 11 members and continuing saving 20 birr each in the name of the self help group. In the mean time, the donor partner DCA/NAP+ provided birr 17,885.00 as a matching fund to strengthen the self help group of Temisalet. After the financial capacity of the self help group enhanced, he took out loan of birr 4000 for his cart purchase and paid back on yearly basis.  Then he bought one cart with horse by birr 18,000 in partnership with his friend contribution of birr 4000 and additional loan taking from somebody else. Currently, he returned back his loan and enabled to save birr 16,000 in his personal saving book. Nigatu explains,” I am getting 200 birr per day with a total income of birr 6000 per month with my friend. I have an estimated capital of birr 40,000.” He is very visionary and extends his acknowledgement to DCA/NAP+ project, Hiwot Melise PLHIV Association, and participants of the peer session including members of PLHIV Association for their many support they rendered us to improve and change our living standard.

Case story 3

“Free laughing child as a sign of hope” Abebech Alemu

Abebech Alemu,


32, is living in Mekete woreda in North Wollo zone of Amhara region. She is married and a mother of three children.  She made an HIV test before five years ago due to HIV related frequent illness. Soon after she knew her HIV status, she started taking ART drug.  W/ro Abebech explain, “I had not been able to disclose my status to others after knowing as I am HIV positive due to fear of being stigmatized and discriminated although the case manger in the health center advised me to be a member of Temsalet PLHIV association. Meanwhile, I accepted the advice and became a member of Temsalet PLHIV Association found in Mekete town three years ago. Abebech says,” “I regret a lot for not being a member of the association in the previous years. As being a member of the association, I got psychosocial support which could not be possible to buy in money. Particularly, after DCA/NAP+ project entered in the woreda, Temsalet  association elected me to be the  participant of the peer session so that I got adequate knowledge on PMTCT, ART adherence, facts about HIV/AIDS including living positively with virus. Previously, I gave birth to my previous two children at home. But, when I became pregnant of the third kid, I got knowledge on using PMTCT service, which is being provided in the health center, through passing in the peer session.”  Due to this fact she explains, “I decided to give HIV free child if it could possible to attend PMTCT service.”   Immediately she recognized as a pregnant, she started attending the four ANC follow up in Flakete health center at Mekete town. In time of deliver she gave birth in the health center and got the necessary treatment for her kid. Now, she embraces a smiling child looks full of hope. She said “if I had not been the participant of the peer session, I could not have been able to get the knowledge of getting HIV free child.”  For this, she thanks DCA/NAP+ project, Temsalet PLHIV Association, the peer leaders including the participant of the peer session for their good work that never last shortly.



Case story 4

“Possible to give HIV free birth,” Meleshiw Bogale.

W/ro Melishew Bogale, 38, is living in Mekete town, in North Wollo zone of Amhara region. She is married and a mother of two children. Melishew knew her HIV status some years ago and started taking her ART drug in Filekete health center for the last five years. She was living hiding herself until she was elected as the participant of the peer session by Temsalet PLHIV Association 3 years ago. As being the peer participant, she explains,” I got adequate knowledge on PMTCT service and skill delivery to have HIV  free child. Due to this fact, I attended the full ANC service and gave birth at Filaket health center to get skill delivery. Now, my kid is 2 years old and healthy.” She would like to thank DCA /NAP, Temisalet PLHIV Association, the peer leaders, the health staff of Filaket health center and the participant of the peer session for letting her to share their experience and particularly the health center for their follow up they did  during her pregnancy. Now, HIV positive mothers have got adequate knowledge on PMTCT service for giving HIV free child through attending ANC service.

Case story 5

“A blink of hope,” W/ro Desta Terefe

W/ro Desta Terefe, 36, is living in Mekete woreda in North wollo zone of Amhara region. She is widowed as her husband died  10 years ago and lives with her three children. Soon after her husband death, she took HIV test and knew as she is HIV positive. Then after, she became a member of Temsalet PLHIV association which helped her to reach her current living standard as compared to the previous meager condition. She acknowledges particularly what DCA/NAP+ project was doing to change the lives of PLHIVs through passing in the peer session. Desta says,” the peer session was enabled us to develop our  saving culture  in order to be able to access loan to start small business as means of generating income for our livelihood. The saving group, which is organized being 20 members each, is now formed as a self help group. The self help group, which was supported by matching fund from DCA/NAP+, is transformed to give revolving fund for the members of the group to help us start their business for their livelihood.” “Through passing in the peer session, I knew what saving is and its importance for changing my life.” Particularly, with the support of DCA/NAP+ project, she elected as a peer participant and started saving birr 30 on monthly bases. As a result, she took loan for 3 rounds of birr 1000 yearly with a total loan taken out of birr 3000.With this birr, she engaged in breeding sheep as a means of earning income for her livelihood. As she explains, “ I bought 3 sheep and multiplied into 8 sheep which is estimated to be sold by birr 16000.Curently, I have  an estimated capital of birr 16,000 and enabled to send my  two children to school who are in grade 9 and in grade 6. Now, my living standard is improved as compared to the previous one.” As she explains, “I can able to eat three times a day; I looks good in my dressing and develop positive living approach” She is very visionary as she determined to multiple her sheep for selling which is a means of overcoming the extreme meager situation that never return back again.

Case story 6

Possible to stop addicted behavior,” Birhanu Beru

Ato Birhanu Beru, who is an ex-soldier, lives in Dawunit woreda, North wollo zone of Amhara region.  He is married and a father of three children. He knew his HIV status in 1994 EC and stared to take ART drug soon as his CD4 count was reached 30. Brihanu says,” I was very desperate and decided to take suicide as I felt hopeless when I knew my HIV status. He adds, the only person that was taking care of me at that time was my mother.” Birhanu explains, “My health was getting improvement after I started

taking my ART drug.” Then after, he became a member of Hiwot Melise PLHIV Association for the last four years and elected as home based care provider of DCA/NAP+ project. As being volunteers, he took 5 days training on home based care service and after the training he equipped with basic knowledge and skill of the home based care service. Birhanu explains,” When I elected as home based care service provider to DCA/NAP+ project, my heart filled up with hope and regained my moral so that I assured that it is possible to live long with the virus.”  Birhanu says,” as being the participant of the peer session, I got adequate knowledge on the 12 components of the peer session particularly on substance abuse so that I totally abandoned my previous risky behaviors like smoking, drinking and chewing chat and  developed positive behavior.”

Now, he is working as a guard of the association by birr 450 and ticket seller in bus station by birr 600. Now, he tells us, “I have enabled to save birr 22,462.00 in my personal account. I bought container by birr 12,000 and I got first level driving license by birr 5000. I furnished my home with bed, cupboard, television and enabled to send my 3 children to school. My quality of life is improved greatly as compared with the previous one so as he send a message to others as it would be possible to escape from addicted  behavior if anyone would get the chance to learn and share experience from others.

For this, he thanks DCA/NAP+ project, the peer leaders, the peer participants for their devotion and commitment to educate us. Particularly, DCA/NAP+ for their financial and frequently follow up they rendered during the whole project period.

Case story 7

“Creativity is the mother of prosperity” Stitual Mekonnen

Ato Stitual Mekonnen, 40, is living in Dawunit woreda,N/Wollo zone of Amhara reigon.  He is married and a father of four children. He knew his HIV status before six years ago after his wife told she took HIV test and her result is positive. Immediately, he took HIV test and knew his result as he was HIV positive.  Soon after he started taking his ART drug and became a member of Hiwot Melise PLHIV Association by the effort of his colleague.   Being a member of the association, he got several remarkable changes in his life. He explains,” I was elected as the participants of the peer session so that I

enabled to develop a culture of saving on monthly basis which has been helped for my present income generating activities.”  He continues, “I took out loan of birr 3000 from my self help group that I am saving of 20 birr on month and bought bicycle by birr 5000 with additional 2000 birr.

As he said no one can give loan for PLHIVs as they believed as PLHIVs to be died soon due to the virus. Now he said he can easily took loan without requesting collateral. Stitual continues, “I generate an income of birr 200 per day through renting my bicycle so that I can able to pay birr 200 for my ‘Iqqub’ contribution on weekly basis. In the first round, I got birr 10,000 from my ‘Iqqub’ and then I paid this 10,000 birr for my son driving license payment.

Now, my son started driving car and became independent from me. Currently, I am starting my second round ‘Iqqub’ payment and I paid 6000 birr and I am waiting to receive birr 12,000 in my turn for the second time.” Stitual has birr 18, 000 in his account and he his very visionary and planned to open shop for his second daughter.

Case story 8

“We do not have to see other people’s face in order to borrow”- Self help groups

When asked about the impact of the DCA/NAP+ HIV Tapering project on their lives: “first it enabled us to become introduced to one another and to share love among us. Second, it enabled us to acquire deep knowledge on the 12 topics of the session that was being held twice a month so that everybody has the opportunity to know very well what HIV/AIDS is; the importance of ART adherence; PMTCT service; substance abuse; condom use; family planning; the importance of personal and environmental hygiene; eating balanced diet; drinking clean water including the importance of saving. Then we developed  saving culture in the form of establishing self help groups. And finally, we can now express ourselves in front of other people and show confidence. “

Abebech Alemu, Melishew Bogale,Tseganesh Alemu and others participants explain how the session helped them to have HIV free child. If they had not got the chance to be participant of the session, they could not have been able to give HIV free children.

Birhanu Beru also explains,” being the participant of the peer session, I enabled to quite my risky behaviors like drinking, smoking and chewing chat and started saving the  money that I was used for drinking, smoking and chewing chat in my account so that currently I have an incredible amount of money in my account :”

“We also discussed about the importance of saving in the form of self help group apart from learning each other. Being organized is better than working alone. Earlier, we have an experience of doing things alone, on an individual basis. Now, we are discussing how group is important. Now we can say we have our own money. To save it. To use it. Even to grant it as credit for our group members. So these issues we have discussed in the group.” Participants say,” previously, we were not involved in any income generating activities. Now, we are a business person because of the loan. When asked what businesses they are engaged in, all of the participant raise their hand saying,” Right now most of us are engaged in small animal rearing, poultry production, petty trade shop, in the sell of soft drink, in the sell of local beverage like ‘Tela &Arequi’and in the sell of tea and coffee.”

Members of  Tsinat self help group, Alem addis self help group, Netsanet self help group and others self help groups say,” Being organized in self help groups, most of us have taken out loan and we have been able to change our lives.” “Before we could not access loan from somebody else because people though that we might die with the virus. But here, this is our savings. This is our interest. We are benefiting from our own interest.” Most of the group members have taken out loan on a round basis mostly on yearly after finishing the loan that we are taking.” They add, “Our self help groups are led by bylaw which govern us how much we save, how much we  take credit, how to provide support to needy group members and other commonly issues are dealt  by the bylaw. In addition, we have our own chairman, secretary casher and accountant which led the self help groups.”

The participants explain,” we took out loan birr with a minimum of birr 1000 and go beyond this to return back to the group on yearly basis with an interest rate of 1% to increase the financial capacity of the group.” Finally, the participants confirmed that the self help groups will continue in the future so that they determined to intensify their income generating activities further. All the self help groups provide their especial thanks to DCA for its provision of matching fund to enhance their financial capacity of the self help groups. They also provide many thanks to NAP+

and their respective PLHIV Association for the support and follow up they got. They thank their group members for their positive interaction and communication without which we could not have been exist anymore.

Case story 9

“Working is better than ideal setting”, Hussen Temam

Ato Hussen Temam, 31, is living in woreillu woreda in south wollo zone of Amhara region. He is single and leading his private life lonely.  Hussen knew his HIV status before eight years ago due to HIV related frequent illness. After three months later, he started taking his ART drug in the health center. Hussen became

a member of Hiwot fana PLHIV Association before 4 years ago by the effort of volunteers. After being the member of the association, he became socialized and developed social interaction with others HIV positive people.  Before he isolated himself and stopped interaction with other people. As Hussen says,” after I became the participate of the peer session, I enabled to save money in my self help group which made me to start small business through taking out loan. Hence, I took out loan from my group for three rounds which amounted of birr 3000, 6000 and 8000 which have been paid back on yearly basis, respectively.”  He continues, “With the taken out loan opened petty trade shop for my income generating activities. Now, I have birr 30,000 in my personal account, I save 9800 birr in my self help group and I have a total working capital of birr 20,000.”  He therefore has a total capital of 59,800 birr. He is very visionary and  give many thanks to DCA/NAP+ project, Woreillu Hiwot Fana PLHIV Association and his self help group members for the support they rendered him.

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