I’ve got the power!
Mercy is 17 years old and is the head of her household of 3 siblings. She is HIV positive. They live together in Kujamam-Kaduna state after their parents died of HIV related illnesses in 2012. One of the siblings-her brother who is 8 years is HIV positive too. Mercy dropped out of primary school to take care of him. She had no job and often failed to afford two meals in a day for herself and her siblings. As such, she was often sad, felt powerless and hopeless.
At the health facility where she receives HIV treatment, Mercy was linked to POSACH (Positive Hope for Support and Care), a Community Based Organization at Saminaka supported by CIHP to provide services for vulnerable children. CIHP also supports vulnerable children turning 18 years to acquire vocational skills. Mercy was therefore enrolled and sponsored by CIHP to attend vocational education in August 2013. She choose to learn tailoring for 4 months and successfully graduated. After graduation, CIHP supported her with a sewing machine and also trained her in small scale business management skills.
After completing her course, Mercy successfully established a tailoring business. She is employed and owns the business. When we spoke to mercy in December 2013, she declared that; ‘‘I HAVE GOT THE POWER’’!!!!
Mercy has opened up a bank account with a microfinance facility where she saves money and has learnt to use bank services. It is estimated that she earns a net income(savings) of N16,800 every month. With her monthly income, she can afford three meals for herself and the siblings she is taking care of. Mercy works alone in her business, but in the next two years she hopes to employ 2 other vulnerable girls who face similar problems to acquire tailoring skills and become self emloyed as well as earn money. If her earnings grow bigger she intends to further her education by enrolling for secondary school education.