Helena Nangombe, is a 27 year old young woman who has been living with HIV, standing as a strong survivor of sexual abuse. Helena is extremely ambitious and self-motivated as a youth advocate. She is a proud mother of an 8 year old son who is HIV negative. After the early death of her parents, she needed to withdraw from her education as there was no one to pay for her education. However this motivated her to contribute positively to her community volunteering to work with orphans and vulnerable children, tuberculosis patients and people living with HIV. Helena advocates for the rights of people living with HIV by volunteering as a focal person for the Namibia Women’s health Network and as a young women for the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW). Helena also blogs short stories around HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Helena’s ambition is to build her capacity to train and empower her community and specifically work with young people to help them recognise their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Helena has recently been appointed as a member of the UNAIDS Dialogue Platform on the Rights of Women living with HIV.
Statement: Joining the GCWA would be a great opportunity for me because it would allow me to learn from other women living with HIV. I am willing to learn anything that will make my work more effective and I am excited to contribute the little skills I have to the group. It would be great to be connected to so many empowered young people as I believe in young leaders. Together our voices can ring loud and help make real changes for all young people across the globe. As a young woman living with HIV, I have faced stigma for being young and stigma related to the virus. Therefore, so much of my advocacy has been focused on improving life and increasing rights for young people living with HIV. It has been very important to me that we have a voice and they are needs and desires are heard and that people who make policies and deliver services hear us and help us to live and be out best.
My wish is to see the young women, especially who are living with HIV all empowered and protected. Meeting with other young people will be a dream comes true to me as we would learn and share a lot from each other talk a lot about sexual health reproductive and many things that affect us in our everyday life. I wanted other people living with HIV to live with respect. I wanted others to get fair services and kind treatment and to be free to ask for family planning of their choices, hoping that stigma and discrimination will totally come to end one day.