In 2019 W4GF created this group of 10 W4GF Advocates to support the W4GF Secretariat and ensure a more systematic flow of information between women engaged at the national level and the W4GF Secretariat and vice versa. W4GF Collaborators will provide guidance to the W4GF Secretariat on its three objectives and sustain the following (ensuring balance of attention to HIV, TB and malaria):
- Strengthen more dynamic dialogue between the W4GF Secretariat and W4GF Advocates at the forefront, to fine-tune priorities which emerge from discussions at the global/regional and national levels to better inform W4GF direction and strategy.
- Develop more coordinated global advocacy actions and priorities that align with the national realities and to support the development of key messages on new and emerging issues as they relate to women (and girls) living with HIV, affected by TB and malaria in all our diversity.
- Identify essential communication resources that are essential to women working at the national level in the context of the Global Fund.
Based in India
Abhina is a transwoman from Hijra community working as an Associate Director – Gender Sexuality Rights programme with India HIV/AIDS Alliance. Globally engaged with International Trans Fund (ITF), Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Innovative Responses for Global Transgender on HIV (IRGT) and member of India Working Group (IWG) for advocacy on increased domestic financing and 6th replenishment grant.
Based in Ghana
Cecilia Lodonu-Senoo is a human right and gender advocate and a public health specialist and sociologist. Cecilia works demonstrates her commitment to human rights and the empowerment of women and youth. Cecilia’s skills are in HIV psychosocial counselling, social & behaviour change, capacity building, advocacy and providing strategic developmental interventions. In June 2001 Cecilia founded a community-based women and youth focused organisation called Hope for Future Generations. Cecilia mobilised and developed the leadership skills, treatment literacy and sexual and reproductive health and rights education for 91 women and girls living with HIV. From 2006 – 2010 Cecilia was the President of the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA) Ghana. In 2010 Cecilia co-developed positive living toolkit and trained 150 women, their sexual partners and young people living with HIV in the Central region of Ghana. Under this project Cecilia screened 1,120 people living with HIV for TB and referred cases for treatment. Under the Global Fund Round 8, Hope for Future Generations was SSR under ADRA Ghana and implemented HIV anti stigma campaigns in two regions of Ghana, providing education on HIV treatment adherence, care and support. In 2010 – 2013 Cecilia established a project for 25 women living with HIV, that contributed to their nutrition and socioeconomic status in society. The project supported the education of 21 orphans and vulnerable children, provided nutritional and educational materials up to secondary school and continued to support access to University. Cecilia is currently the technical Advisor for SWAA Ghana.
Daxa Vitthal Patel
Based in India
Living with HIV for since 1997, Daxa’s work demonstrates her dedication to people living with HIV with a special focus on women and children. In 2000 Daxa founded Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV (GSNP+) and in 2012 she founded the National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India (NCPI+) and state women forum, MSM positive forum. Daxa led successful advocacy at the national level to promote of PAP smears for eligible women living with HIV. In 2005 she developed partnerships with the Reliance in Surat for free ART medicine while government had not initiated this in the city. This partnership now sustains – with other services – 30 beds in the hospital with free services, nutrition, diagnostic, treatment, doctor consultation, reliance with other donors providing nutritional support to 200 children living with HIV and women living with HIV who are widows. Other corporate L&T company CSR fund were mobilized for children living with HIV and adolescent monthly SGM for 500 children living with HIV. In 2009 Daxa led successful advocacy with the Gujarat Government for travel support to access ART medicine, inclusion of HIV to be covered by medical aid schemes and monthly cash benefits to people living with HIV. Daxa is active in her engagement in the India Working Group for health Advocacy and GFAN and in various state and national committees – boosting the voice of people living with HIV.
Eunice Makena Henguva
Based in Namibia
Based in Tanzania
The journey to support and raise the voice of people living and affected by HIV and drugs started in 2002. Happy Assan is an activist working with Tanzania network for people who use drugs (TaNPUD) – first as the coordinator and then in July 2019 Happy was announced as the Executive director of TaNPUD. Happy is also the Coordinator of women and children led organisation in Tanzania know as (SALVAGE) to support women and children from drug abuse. SALVAGE provides as shelter for women in need and supports children who belongs to mothers who are using drugs. The shelter provides free support and serves as a drop in centre. SALVAGE works to support community and advocate for friendly services and policies and better laws and access to health services fit for purpose in Tanzania and throughout Africa. Through Happy’s leadership, the two organisations secured funds and conducted event around “Support don’t punish” days since 2014; TB days; Hepatitis awakening campaign in 2016 and annual events creating awareness on Hepatitis; HIV and raising awareness with the Stop violence campaign in 2017, 2018 and 2019 during world drug day. TaNPUD also secured funds so to raise awareness on people who use drugs in the regions and TaNPUD now has member organisations demonstrated the networks growth. TaNPUD also works with CENTA with funds from COMPASS to support the establishment of KVP advisory committee to advocate for allocations and funds from PEPFAR and the Global Fund.
Lucy Wanjiku Njenga
Based in Nairobi
Lucy Wanjiku Njenga is a young woman leader who is visionary and passionate about young women and girls issues. Being diagnosed in 2012 with HIV and right after losing her son to HIV related complications, she committed to ensuring no other girl had to go through the same. This was achieved by her initiative of being a peer mentor and a trainer of trainers of a Behaviour Change Curriculum in HOPE project where she reached more than 2000 students. She founded Sauti Skika, the first network of adolescent and young people living with HIV in Kenya in 2015 that has become a platform that gives adolescent and young people a voice. Lucy is the Founder and Executive Coordinator of Positive Young Women Voices. She is the African Delegate in the NGO Delegation to PCB of UNAIDS and the Alternate Board member in the Kenya Country Coordinating Mechanism to the Global Fund. She has hands-on experience in the previous funding request submitted to the Global Fund and advocated to have a seat for adolescent and young people in the KCM, Kenya being a first to have such a seat. Lucy lives in Nairobi with her partner and their 3 year old daughter.
Mara Kumbweza Banda
Based in Malawi
Living with HIV for the past 19 years, Mara Kumbweza Banda is a highly motivated individual and a TB survivor. In 2003, Mara founded Paradiso TB Patients Trust for affected people and women led organizations to respond to TB and HIV in her community. The organization has grown into a local NGO and is now operational in seven districts across Malawi. Mara has been involved in issues of Accessibility of HIV and TB service including advocating for free ART services and HIV and TB integration in Malawi. Mara has facilitated trainings for grassroots women living with HIV across Malawi to reduce stigma and discrimination and address gender inequality. Aside from being a founder of an HIV/TB response organization, Mara has served as a Board Chairperson for the National AIDS Commission (NAC) for six years and acted as the Chairperson for Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organization for nine years. Mara currently serves on the Malawi CCM, SADC GFRCM and MOH related Technical Working Groups. A Malawian residing in Lilongwe, Mara has worked in several International NGO’s such as; UNICEF, USAID and EU in administrative positions. Mara holds a Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy.
Based in Albania
Living with HIV for 25 years, Olimbi is the founder and Executive Director of people living with HIV Albanian Association, since 2004. Olimbi is an economist and psychotherapist and was the first woman in her region to speak openly about her HIV status and works to protect human rights, access to ARVs, and raising the standard of care and support models. Olimbi supports a network for Parents of Children Living with HIV, runs self-support groups for people living with HIV and provides psychosocial support services. Olimibi works on the integration of prevention actions, including PMTCT programmes, TasP, community based testing centres on HIV and other STIs, and PrEP for LGBTI Communities. She is a consultant and member of the Working Group to revise the National AIDS Strategy, and Albanian HIV Legislation, and the Transition Plan development. As Deputy/Chair of the Albania CCM, she is a member of Regional Coordinator Mechanism (RCM) for the Balkan Region and EECA Constituency Board Member on the framework of Global Fund, and representative of Albanian Civil Society in all HIV regional and International bodies. Olimbi’s expertise lies in providing technical consultation for NGOs/CBO in the WHO European Region – identifying challenges and opportunities for scaling-up access to quality testing and counselling services; and capacity building needs assessment for organisations working with most at-risk adolescents. Olimbi wears many different hats and always includes a focus on women’s issues including gender-based violence, in all national plans and programmes; and is passionate about indicators that support the SDGs – encouraging equal and inclusive policy that increase the chances of women’s and youth accessing better care and tailored health approaches for HIV and TB.
Based in Zimbabwe
Talent Jumo has 14 years-experience mobilising communities to engage in policy advocacy around their sexual and reproductive health and rights. In 2017, Talent co-founded Katswe Sistahood, a feminist grassroot movement of activists who are running SRHR/HIV programs in Zimbabwe and the SADC Region. Talent is the former representative for women in the Country Coordinating Mechanism on the Global Fund to end AIDS, TB and Malaria in Zimbabwe, and is the current chairperson for the Zimbabwe AIDS Network, which is a coalition of bout 200 AIDS Service Organisations.