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The India HIV/AIDS Alliance works with over 150,000 people living with HIV between the ages of 15 and 30. Many of these individuals come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, with over 60% of them falling below the poverty line. These young people face stigma and discrimination in education and in the job market, which makes it difficult for them to complete schooling or skills-training, and can even provide a barrier to finding adequate employment. These circumstances of an economically-impoverished starting point, coupled with discriminatory practices that keep these youths from accessing the training that could lead to better opportunities is a combination likely to keep them trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Over the course of 18 months, the India HIV/AIDS Alliance will provide vocational and skill-building trainings to 1,000 people living with HIV between the ages of 15 and 25. The project, which will be implemented in the Indian states of Delhi, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, will go beyond offering vocational-trainings, and aims to place at least 80% of the program graduates into long-term employment. The India HIV/AIDS Alliance works closely with the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to provide care, support and treatment services to people living with HIV. With 350 Care & Support Service Centers, the India HIV/AIDS Alliance provides support services to over 150,000 people living with HIV between the ages of 15 and 30. The organization believes that with training, the immense potential of this group can be tapped and they can play a significant part in fueling the country’s development agenda by addressing its demand for a skilled labor force. Under this program, the India HIV/AIDS Alliance will train 1,000 individuals with HIV from the states of Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Mobilization of this target group will not be difficult, as they are already registed with the India HIV/AIDS Alliance through their care and support services program. The 18-month program will consist of skills training, periodic assessments of students, a final certification, and job placement. The participants will receive training in at least one of the following fields: Information Technology-Enabled Services, Banking and Financial Services, Retail Operations, Data Entry, Accounting, Apparel, and Beauty and Wellness. In addition, the participants will receive livelihood skills trainings that include computer skills, basic English language training, as well as leadership and communications training. The India HIV/AIDS Alliance will continue to build partnerships with vocational training institutes, corporate houses, and placement agencies to ensure effective execution of the program. These partner organizations will include the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the National Institute of Information Technology, and Don Bosco Tech. It is based on the track-record of these partner organizations that the India HIV/AIDS Alliance has estimated that 80% of the participants will be placed into long-term jobs after completing the program.