May 19, 2008 (LBO) – Two small charities in Sri Lanka have won 40,000 US dollars in grants to work on reducing discrimination and stigma associated with AIDS and HIV, the World Bank said. The grants came from the South Asia Development Marketplace initiative where 26 proposals from the region won grants from a million US dollar pool.
Lanka +, a community based organization, won funds to establish a small scale entrepreneurship program for and by people living with HIV.
Alliance Lanka, another charity, has a program of organizing colourful roadside stands and centres for people to visit and get information and counselling.
“Recognition of these kinds of grass roots organizations is very important,”
Shabana Azmi, an actress and social activist presenting the awards, said in a statement.
“We have to make sure they are empowered, strengthened, and financed so they can
carry out their work.
“This initiative is a small but very important step in the fight against stigma and discrimination.
The two organizations now have 18 months to carry out projects that will change attitudes and practices so that HIV and AIDS programs can be made more effective.