Looking Beyond Food Support: Building skills with World Food Programme food-assisted productive safety net programmes
Empowering HIV-positive women
In 2002, Françoise from Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was admitted to the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) HIV and AIDS programme. “Food assistance has been my only reliable source of food, especially when I was sick and hospitalized,” recalls Françoise, who lost her husband to AIDS.
In addition to food, HIV-positive people can also receive training and non-food assistance from WFP’s partner organizations to allow them to learn valuable life skills, such as how to start a business, to help them become self-sufficient.
Françoise received financial support from an NGO partner to start sewing and doll-making activities. With the profits, she bought a piece of land and built a wooden house, which she rents out. Françoise also started raising awareness about HIV to help people overcome stigma and discrimination.
Thanks to her determination, she has now been hired by the partner NGO Médecins du Monde to handle WFP food distributions to HIV-positive people in Goma, providing not only food, but also hope and viable life options to others in need.