Debre Sina Ethiopia, Integrated Livelihood Improvement

Debre Sina Ethiopia, Integrated Livelihood Improvement


The project aims to improve the the livelihoods of women and children affected by AIDS and PLHIV by strengthening their social and economic position. We therefore provide information about HIV and AIDS, form self-help groups to stimulate savings and loans, provide business skills training and strenghten the local PLHIV association and CBO to support their own community members.

Project details

Time frame
01 October 2016 - 31 December 2019
€ 80,000
Active in


- Reduced Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and susceptibility to its socio economic impacts
- Improved livelihood for vulnerable and low income groups of women and unemployed youth
- CBOs are able to effectively engage in HIV prevention and impact mitigation initiatives

Community groups

• Conduct HIV/AIDS education for 240 commercial sex workers
• Training 90 representatives of anti-AIDS clubs in schools
• Organize two experience sharing events for 18 representatives of RH and anti-AIDS clubs in schools
• Organize 16 HIV/AIDS and RH education programs for 4800 school children
• Organize HIV/AIDS Education for 135 girls & boys working as street vendors
• Support 24 needy PLHIV for treatment of opportunistic infections
• Provide 24 PLHIV with nutrition support
• Train 55 PLHIV on positive living and adherence to ART
• Provide a total 80 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) with:
- Monthly financial subsidy
- School uniformes
- Educational materials
- Clothing and shoe
- Medical care
• Organize 80 guardians of OVC into 13 saving and economic strengthening groups
• Train 20 PLHIV in small business management skills


In Debre Sina town, children below the age of 18 accounted for 48.5% of the total population. Many of these children are vulnerable and disadvantaged in terms of access to essential services such as education, health, shelter, nutrition, and parental care. There are an estimated 427 orphan children who lost either one or both of their parents due to various causes of death including HIV/AIDS. Taking into account the HIV risk factors prevalent in the town, it is believed that the number of children directly or indirectly affected by AIDS is large. As mentioned earlier, the town hosts 14 children living with HIV and there are 21 children orphaned by AIDS. The office believes that the number of HIV positive children and that of children orphaned by AIDS is extremely underestimated. An NGO had been providing school materials support to some needy children. However, the support lacked comprehensiveness and consistency so that it failed to bring significant change in the lives of needy children, as commented by the office of women and children affairs.

Young females make desperate decisions for earning and engage in activities that are socially unacceptable in their communities as well as risky for them. They engage in commercial sex work and informal prostitution as well as decide to get married as soon as they come across a man who wishes to do so with them. However, the marriages dissolves soon. The next alternative most of them take is commercial sex work.

The majority of people in Debre Sina Town live on very low incomes that are derived from varieties of petty trade activities. The incomes derived from these sources are barely enough to cover the minimum requirements of households. Most children are under- and malnourished. Women are hard working and have desirous to change but they are held back by lack of opportunities and access to financial resources. As a result they remain poor as well as their household members.

Statistical data on the prevalence of HIV in Debre Sina town is hardly available since there has not been any study conducted on the subject matter. However, there are different risk factors that indicate high prevalence of HIV. According to the findings of the assessment, the major factors contributing to the spread of HIV in the town include : (a) migration and movement of people from rural communities, (b) the location of the town being on the main route to and from the northern parts of the country(Dessie, Kombolcha, Mekele and other towns) and Addis Ababa, (c) high level of production and consumption of local drinks mainly liquor, locally known as Areke , (d) unemployment and poverty , (e) early marriage and divorce in rural communities , (f) lack of sexual and RH education in schools and (g) inadequate HIV prevention and impact mitigation interventions. Commercial sex works, girls and women engaging in street vending, and high school students are among risk groups who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection.

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