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Friday, February 18, 2011


Making AIDS Work in Zimbabwe

Over the last several years two organizations from opposite sides of the planet met to fight HIV/AIDS. Warehouse242 in Charlotte, North Carolina partnered with HOPE for AIDS in Odzi, Zimbabwe in an endeavor to tackle the AIDS pandemic in the most dignified way. This is in the form of entrepreneurship.

This is based by the simple facts. 1) An HIV infected Zimbabwean needs Anti-retroviral treatments to fight the disease and live a long life. 2) A nutritious meal is needed for the ARVs to work effectively. 3) Income is needed to purchase a nutritious meal. 4) Work or a job is needed to obtain the income to purchase the nutritious meal. Without 4) you cannot have 1).  Consequently, that is where entrepreneurship comes in with the concept of Income Generating Activity (IGA).

Income Generating Activity (IGA) is micro-lending to the highest level.  It is more than going on a website and putting your $25 in the blank field and clicking send.  It is about a significant loan of $5000 or greater that requires the donor to be a business partner. The donor is responsible for weighing into the lives of the recipient with direct contact (Skype) and writing business plans, analyzing cash flow statements, and making projections for the future. As the loan is repaid dignity rises in the recipient. As the process matures the donor's heart is filled with joy.  This is more than a transaction but a spiritual journey.

This is the reason why Warehouse24, a church, in Charlotte chose to provide through an IGA.  They have the means to generate resources in form of interest free loans and individuals with expertise in business. Also, HOPE for AIDS have a great desire to be self-sustaining and depend less on charity.  So the two teams came together to start a chicken farm business in Odzi, Zimbabwe.  The wire of funds occurred February 15, 2011. S o now the adventure really begins.

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