KUALA LUMPUR: Women living with HIV can start their own business through the Malaysia AIDS Foundation-Berjaya (MAF) MyLady Assistance scheme.
Berjaya Corporation Berhad executive director Nerine Tan said the initiative is to improve the affected women’s livelihood.
“Berjaya is proud to be the sponsor for this scheme with a total amount of RM135,000,” she said in a speech during the scheme’s launch today. “This includes the seed funding of RM100,000, which will be used to help up to 20 women to start their business with an interest-free loan of between RM5,000 to RM10,000.
“Through this scheme, women living with HIV will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to start small-scale business and job referrals with peer support programme.
“We share the same belief as the MAF that empowering these women with vocational skills and capacity building will help them to become self-reliant and improve their livelihood.
“Berjaya has a long history of partnership with the MAF since the early days of its establishment. In 1994, Tan Sri Vincent Tan pledged RM1 million to the foundation as early seeding fund. Berjaya is proud to witness how the foundation has grown from strength to strength, to become one of the country’s foremost charitable organisations.”
MAF chairman Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said it was important to provide a platform for these women to be self-reliant.
“MAF always strives to address gender and socio-economic disparities and social determinants of health that increase their vulnerabilities to HIV through provision of treatment, care and support services.
“We hope that these newly-launched aid programmes will help put them on the right path to self reliance and greater financial independence,“ she added.
The Health Ministry has identified a total of 13,035 HIV cases in women and girls from 1986 to 2017.
Interested parties can contact MAC at 03 4047 4222 or peruse through www.yam.org.my