Maseru — Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA), a non-profit organisation, has embarked on a project to establish business enterprises for sex workers.
Speaking to Sunday Express about the initiative titled Mphatlalatsane, LPPA project coordinator Tefo Lepheana said they submitted a proposal to the Japan Trust fund to source funds for the project back in 2009.
“The funding was aimed at driving two projects, providing quality Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and that of minimising risks of the continuing scourge of HIV and Aids”, Lepheana said.
According to Lepheana, they (LPPA) engaged themselves in drawing measures to ensure that sex workers desist from prostitution through training and helping them establish businesses.
“The enterprises fall into three business categories namely; manufacturing, retailing and services”, added Lepheana.
“Seven people in the group have been deployed in the manufacturing category, where they will work on rearing broilers, brick formation, dress making and catering,” he said.
“Twelve will work in the retail sector while in the services sector, only one person has already started operating a hair salon business”, continued Lepheana.
The total expenditure in establishing the businesses Lepheana said, amounted to M85, 000, with the manufacturing category costing M36 000.
Setting up the retail businesses cost M45 000 while M4 000 was spent on services.
He said the retail businesses would range from second hand clothes stores, shoes, kitchenware and also a café.
One of the beneficiaries, who cannot be named, told Sunday Express that she and her colleagues look forward to stopping sex trade and growing their new businesses.
“We hope that we will stop sex work and fully concentrate on growing the businesses LPPA helped us to develop”, she said.
LPPA has so far assisted 20 sex workers to establish their businesses.