Adjacent to the SEAD centre but out of its compound, the PLHA centre is rented by SEAD to allow PLHAs to run their support group meetings and activities. This is also a place to stay for patients needing a shelter for a couple of night, especially the provincial ones. Some rooms are used by one local NGO of HIV positive women.
Support Group Activities
60 patients of the SEAD centre meet once a month to fight loneliness and discrimination, to share experience about problems related to HIV disease and to antiretroviral therapy (ART). These groups aim at developing solidarity among PLHAs by meeting people facing the same problems and able to help them. External speakers regularly participate in these meetings, such as NGO representatives presenting their activities (human rights, psychological support…). The Support Group members have created an association called “Life of Hope” and set up a saving box to be used for funeral fees.
Among the different Support Group activities, the microcredit one is very appreciated by PLHAs. Any of them can apply to get a 100 USD microcredit by filing a basic request form. Then, a team of volunteers, members of the Support Group, will make a site assessment to evaluate the project feasibility. Based on evaluation results, the Support Group will validate or not the loan. It is handed over during an official ceremony and should be reimbursed within around 10 months. After total reimbursement, it is possible to apply for a new loan that could be 200 USD. Most of businesses are small street grocery or tailor.
Until December 2009, 119 micro credits have been distributed. Among them 36 are still in process, 8 are late and 11 are lost to follow-up and 63 reimbursed in time. The loan allow beneficiaries to start or to expand a small business without indebting and thus to avoid further impoverishment.
Every quarter, around 50 members of the support group go to visit PLHA support groups living in provinces to share experience during a 2-3 day trip. It is a good opportunity to have some leisure time together. Here is the list of the different trips:
- 27-28 April 2005 Siem Reap Salvation Cambodian Centre (SCC) / Siem Reap Mondul Mith chuoy Mith (MMM)
- 01-03 May 2006 Kompong Som Khmer Women Cooperation for Development (KWCD) / Kompong Som MMM
- 05-07 October 2006 Prey Veng Prey Veng MMM
- 26-28 November 2007 Banteay Meanchey Serei Sophon MMM / Monkul Borey MMM
- 06-08 February 2007 Battambang HelpAge International (HAI) / Battambang MMM / Cambodian Health Committee
- 27-29 August 2008 Kampot Kompong Treach MMM / Kampot MMM
- 27-30 April 2008 Siem Reap SCC / Siem Reap MMM
- 25-27 January 2008 Kompong Som Participation in Kharmanaval
- 16-19 December 2009 Kratie Action For Health (AFH) /Kampuchea Women Welfarefor Action (KWWA)
- 08-11 September 2009 Siem Reap SCC / Caritas Cambodian Organization
- 19-22 June 2009 Koh Kong Smach Meanchey MMM / Care Cambodian Organization
- 05-07 February 2009 Kompong Som KWCD / Mlub Tapang Organization
PLHA Training and group counseling
Twice a month, the medical and the psychosocial coordinators in collaboration with the PLHA centre management team organize a one day training session on different issues such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, nutrition, adherence, plus one group counseling session. Each session is opened to around 20 PLHAs and takes place in the PLHA centre. The training is delivered in an interactive process through group discussions and presentations.
Dharma Education: Emotional and spiritual support is also provided by monks from the Salvation Centre of Cambodia.
Support to Cambodian NGO
Positive Women of Hope Organization (PWHO) was created in 2004 by a group of women living with HIV/AIDS. The organization employs more than 30 HIV positive women working from products conception to distribution and sales. SEAD provides rooms within the PLHA centre to PWHO to run its activities ( training, handicraft, sale, capacity-building), support for marketing design and opportunities to get in touch with potential clients and distributors.