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Pfizer Thailand Foundation in partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) have invited media representatives to Chiang Rai to review activities under the Pfizer-PDA Positive Partnership (PPPP) program

Pfizer Thailand Foundation in partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) have invited media representatives to Chiang Rai to review activities under the Pfizer-PDA Positive Partnership (PPPP) program

Pfizer Thailand Foundation in partnership with the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) have invited media representatives to Chiang Rai to review activities under the Pfizer-PDA Positive Partnership (PPPP) program designed to offer people affected with HIV an opportunity to derive a sustainable and independent source of income from the micro-credit loans granted to them. The program pairs HIV-positive people with healthy partners to develop positive mutual attitudes and minimize negative feelings and perceptions among community members. The Chiang Rai program serves as a role model for creating a sustainable availability of funds by investing the money with the Village Development Bank to generate revolving revenues from which community members can benefit.
 

 

The program, now in its sixth year, has benefited 624 partnerships (1,248 people).
Over Bht 28,954,500 of loans have been approved. Loan payback rate is as high as 90%.

Dr. Saisuree Chutikul, Director, Pfizer Thailand Foundation, who accompanied the media to Chiang Rai, said, “Pfizer Thailand Foundation has supported the program in partnership with PDA since 2004. We intend to provide soft loans for HIV-positive patients and their partners to earn a living while giving them moral support. We want these people to be able to take care of themselves and their families. At the same time, we want to campaign for social acceptance and understanding towards HIV-infected people and I am pleased to say we have received a positive feedback so far from society.”

 

“In the first phase of the program from 2004-2006, we encouraged HIV-positive patients to depend on themselves economically and campaigned to reduce social stigma against HIV patients.  In the second phase during 2007, we focused on community participation. For 2009, our priority is to activate these partnerships in a sustainable way so that they can take care of each other energetically as well as carry out activities beneficial to their community, using the program funds which have increased through our investment with     the Village Development Bank,” said Dr. Saisuree.
The Village Development Bank is a community financial institution where community members put their savings together and lend it at a low interest to members in need of funds. These savings are revolved and circulated to benefit community members. Upon completion of one year, bank members will receive a dividend proportionate with their share of savings deposits, interest and loan equity. Members also enjoy other benefits from the bank’s various funds.
The PPPP funds in Chiang Rai that are deployed in the Village Development (Ban Sun Gong, Moo 7, Mae Rai sub-district, Mae Chan district, Chiang Rai province) is a model on self reliance for other PPPP funds to follow in the future. The bank allows the fund to sustain itself and help PPP partnerships in the long term.
 

 

Mrs. Duangjai Pantoh, operator of a bag factory, said, “It is crucial that HIV-patients are given the opportunity to sustain themselves independently. I believe that by being open-minded, giving equal treatment and showing no disdain toward them, we give them encouragement and strength. We make them appreciate the value of life. They will learn to live the rest of their life in a meaningful way. As I work with the HIV-positive community, I have learned that these people have great work discipline. Many of them are even more skillful than their healthy co-workers. With their earnings, they can support themselves and their families and no longer become a social burden.”


Mrs. Oy (alias), 40, a PPPP member employed by the bag factory, said, “When I learned I got HIV from my husband, I felt rejected and helpless and did not want to live anymore.  Then my husband died.  I was even more desperate.  I had no one to count on. Without Thai citizenship and education, I had no job.  I just kept on fighting for my little children. I asked to do any job that I can do.  But hardly anyone offered me a job.  Then I met  Khun Duangjai who gave me work at the bag factory.  At the same time, I enrolled in the PPPP program and received a loan to earn a living.  Now I earn enough to support my two children and another two affected relatives of my late husband.  I also join in group sessions to share opinions with fellow members.  It makes me strong mentally.  I have the hope to live on.  Though I am not so well off, I am proud and glad that I can earn a living for my family and build a solid foundation for my children’s future. “
 
To date (September 2009), the program has benefited 624 partnerships (1,248 people). Loans valued at over Bht 28,954,500 have been approved. The loan payback rate stands at around 90%. The size of the loans approved depends on the projects proposed by individual partnerships, ranging from Bht 5,000 to Bht 12,000. Borrowers can choose to pay back loans in installments at an interest of only 6% for a loan period of 6-12 months depending on the type of occupation.
 

Mrs. Oy (alias), 40, a PPPP member employed by the bag factory, said, “When I learned I got HIV from my husband, I felt rejected and helpless and did not want to live anymore.  Then my husband died.  I was even more desperate.  I had no one to count on. Without Thai citizenship and education, I had no job.  I just kept on fighting for my little children. I asked to do any job that I can do.  But hardly anyone offered me a job.  Then I met  Khun Duangjai who gave me work at the bag factory.  At the same time, I enrolled in the PPPP program and received a loan to earn a living.  Now I earn enough to support my two children and another two affected relatives of my late husband.  I also join in group sessions to share opinions with fellow members.  It makes me strong mentally.  I have the hope to live on.  Though I am not so well off, I am proud and glad that I can earn a living for my family and build a solid foundation for my children’s future. “
 
To date (September 2009), the program has benefited 624 partnerships (1,248 people). Loans valued at over Bht 28,954,500 have been approved. The loan payback rate stands at around 90%. The size of the loans approved depends on the projects proposed by individual partnerships, ranging from Bht 5,000 to Bht 12,000. Borrowers can choose to pay back loans in installments at an interest of only 6% for a loan period of 6-12 months depending on the type of occupation.



The program is a good starting point to help society become more receptive to HIV-positive people. Not only does it succeed in improving the quality of life of affected people, the collaboration between program members and individual communities as well as local networks like PDA teams, Tambon Administrative Organization officers, medical volunteers, doctors, nurses, and public health personnel, also actively helps reduce the number of new HIV-positive people.