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How does a widow living with AIDS improve her life?

Mrs. Chi Chamnan is a 42-year-old widow, living with AIDS. Prior to that, her husband was seriously ill and all her small assets were sold to cover his medical treatment. Unfortunately, he died in 1998 and left her behind with one daughter, one year later their daughter died too. Since then, living conditions of her family became deteriorated without profitable business and sufficient food to survive. She left her home to live and work in Poy Pet district and Banteaymean chey province.


In 2004, being sick and very weak, Chi Chamnan decided to come back to her homeland and to be tested for HIV. As she was diagnosed as being HIV-positive, her family was selected as a part of SCC’s target group in Ekphom district of Battambang province. SCC’s intervention aimed to alleviate suffering of its beneficiaries through the provision of participation, non-discrimination, human rights and gender equality, physical and practical support, HIV/AIDS, anti-stigma, gender and human rights education. Chi Chamnan has received SCC support services such as regular home base care, Buddhist counseling, meditation instructions, referral to healthcare service and monthly WFP food Aids. Moreover her business grows. For now she is able to earn income by sewing after she has received 150 USD a start-up capital.

As the above-mentioned situation changed positively, Chi Chamnan has secured food for living, she mentioned that,

The villagers always invite me to attend ceremonies and wedding receptions. My business keeps me very busy, but it brings in income every day. Even though, those activities keep me busy, my health is largely stable.

Thank you for your generous support of our project. Rather than giving you just the numbers of women taking part in our Empowering HIV+ Women in Cambodia to Start a Business, we would like to share stories of women whose lives have been transformed through participating in our sewing program.