Thank you Madam Chair.
My name is Lucy Wanjiku Njenga from Kenya, the Team Leader with Positive Young Women Voices, a community-based organization in Nairobi working with adolescent girls and young women living with and affected by HIV. It is an honor to be the incoming African Delegate as a young woman from a CBO. It shows we are being heard and are taking our rightful places in the decision-making tables. It is with this in mind that I address doing more for community organizations’ funding.
Community action has long been acknowledged as the cornerstone of the response to the global AIDS pandemic. Many of the key innovations, breakthroughs and progress on the ground would not have happened without the involvement of communities. Despite this, and despite significant investments in the response to HIV over the past two decades, funding for community action has remained sporadic, limited, and hampered by a number of challenges, including funding systems. At the same time, many community-based organizations are receiving funding in an effective manner, and many funders have adapted their approaches to overcome these challenges.
As we look at best practices, an example is the Global Fund coming down to the level of communities in provision of funding and in their realization of how important it is not to leave adolescent girls and young women behind. They now offer a simple and efficient fund called ‘HER VOICE FUND’ that can be easily accessed by groups and community-based organizations (registered and non-registered), enabling them to be part of the Global Fund processes. Are girls and young women part of the UNAIDS processes? Yes! Are they receiving support in getting the work done as it should be in the response? No!
Young women groups are among the populations left behind. They are being pulled in a million different directions for a million different reasons without the time, space and investment to reflect and Implement their own ideas or be accountable to their peers. By the end of the day, we are not really building leadership or allowing innovation to thrive. For money to work for communities, we need to thrive out of the box. Donors have to be flexible in their funding formulas and requirements and not just ask for new tools, new programs rather than work with what is already best practices.
Agenda item 8 Best Practices on effective funding of community HIV responses.
Delivered by Lucy Wanjiku Njenga, Positive Young Women Voices
Tags: 43rd PCB Meeting