The Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN), a platform of around 250 individuals and civil society and “Friends of the Fund” organisations, has launched a campaign to advocate for increase in funding of the Global Fund.
The “Here I Am” campaign highlights the real life experiences of people affected by the three diseases and gives them a forum to share these experiences.
The campaign will make use of several tools to achieve its goals, including the use of ambassadors, websites and blogs, and video stories.
The Here I Am ambassadors are people who are directly affected or infected by the three diseases and who can speak about the impact of Global Fund investments in their communities.
The campaign will identify 2-6 individuals from each region of the world to serve as ambassadors. The ambassadors will work in close collaboration with the Communities Delegation on the Global Fund Board. The World AIDS Campaign International will provide support to facilitate their communication, training and travel.
The campaign has already identified two ambassadors; Thokozile Beatrex Phiri and Maurine Murenga.
Thokozile is a TB-HIV advocate from Malawi who has been active in both national and international arenas. She works for the Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association, which currently serves as the secretariat of the SAVE Lives from HIV and AIDS campaign. In 2012, Thokozile joined the Communities Delegation on the Global Fund Board.
Maurine Murenga is an HIV/AIDS activist from Kenya who focuses her efforts on issues related to access to treatment, human rights, public awareness, and care and support for young women and girls. Maurine serves as the coordinator of Lean on Me, an organisation that provides care and support to young women and adolescents living with HIV.
More than 100 video stories have been collected from all over the world, featuring people speaking about the impact of the Global Fund investments in their lives. These are self-filmed 2-3-minute videos. Many of the stories were collected at the International Aids Conference in Washington in July 2012.
The Here I Am website is the platform where all GFAN members can find information and through which all the tools are made available. The website features the video stories mentioned above and information on the Global Fund replenishment process.
The Huffington Post, an online newspaper, will feature one new story every week as part of the Here I Am blog that is hosted by Lucy Cheshire, the Executive Director of TB ACTION Group/Kenya. Each story can be shared from the website through Facebook and Twitter.
The Here I Am campaign aims to influence the Global Fund’s 4th Replenishment Process, which takes place in 2013. This is where most donors are expected to announce their pledges for the period 2014–2016.