We visited a health cooperative in Nyamata where mothers who are HIV+ are encouraged to attend the cooperative to learn about nutrition and how to prevent transmitting HIV to their new born children. The nutrition focuses on how they can prepare healthly meals using local food. This cooperative also include children who are under-nourished (there are different levels). This cooperative is focused on the most vulnerable to what they train to make to make toys to sell using local materials and to help maintain the Rwanda culture. This helps the ladies support themselves. The dolls take 2 days for people who are trained and 4 days for those that are still learning. The baskets and plates take 3 days each for the trained and 5 days for those that are learning.
When they sell the products the person that made them gets 40% and 60% goes to the cooperative. the cooperative uses the money to loan to members to start their own businesses and to help desparate people who are in need. This cooperative has 500 members. When women are pregnant and found to have HIV they are encouraged to join the cooperative. World Vision is the roots and the cooperative is the tree and the branches. World Vision also provides the AIDS drugs to the members.
In 2004 there were 700 women when the cooperative started and 95% of their children were born HIV negative.
We also had the honour to serve the ladies a meal in their health centre.