The Global Fund is an important movement that has helped millions of lives across the world. Young people play an important role in calling for its replenishment, says Karon Lama.
The Global Fund is a worldwide movement to defeat HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and ensure a healthier, safer, and more equitable future for all. As of 2022, it has invested more than US$55.4 billion in 155 countries and with its partners has saved an estimated 50 million lives.
The Global Fund and Young People.
In order for the movement to accurately reflect the needs and desires of youth – young people need to be at the forefront of different levels of planning, design, and implementation. Having young people be at the forefront of Global Fund Processes for replenishment is critical. It further supports youth-led monitoring and accountability.
My experience with HIV.
I am a young woman affected by HIV. I lost both my parents to AIDS at a young age. And have been contributing to movements to support the rights of young people living with HIV. The global fund has supported my own growth and evolutionand of many who grapple with HIV. We have received support, care, and treatment. I believe that this program has the potential to, and in fact has, saved millions of lives, and supported the building of sustainable health systems. In an effort to prevent future pandemics, like mine.
Global Fund Campaigns.
My experience participating actively for five months in the different and innovative Global Fund replenishment campaigns was pivotal. The effort was a collaboration between young people, led by Youth-LEAD (Asia Pacific Network of YKP). The key goals of the campaign were to reflect on how the fund has affected young people’s lives. It also involved imagining where we would be if the global funded nation initiatives didn’t exist. Overall through the campaign initiatives, we sought to see how the fund may be leveraged to support other demographics in the future three-year cycles, and to draw attention to what Young Key Populations can do with The Global Fund’s assistance, with a focus on YKP-led initiatives, services, and other support.The main themes of the campaigns were #YouthFightForWhatCounts, #FightForWhatCounts, #PressPlay4Youth
I was part of the letter campaign. I wrote letters to the Prime Ministers of the main donor countries. The letters requested them to pledge money towards the global fund. In order to reach the required 18 billion dollars. I wrote about my personal experience — emphasising how valuable the fund had been to my life.
This campaign brought together videos from young people across the globe. It highlighted the challenges we experience. It also aimed to show the ways in which the pandemic had affected us. What we need for post-pandemic recovery, and the future. We showcased what we had achieved through the youth consortiums that we were part of.
The theme of the photo campaign was #PressPlay4youth. As the world was put on hold for the COVID-19 pandemic, it highlighted the impact of the ongoing HIV epidemic.
I am grateful to the nations that have contributed to the Global Fund. Their contributions have made a positive impact on my life, and the lives of millions of young people across the world.
Read more about the GenEndIt Steering group. Young leaders who will convene and support other young people in donor and emerging donor countries to drive change in the reprioritisation of global HIV and AIDS.
For more than 10 years, Karon has been supporting, protecting and collaborating with young people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS across the Asia Pacific and around the world. She has participated in international, regional and national platforms to advocate for the rights of young people affected by HIV and AIDS, including PMNCH-Global Alliance, Youth-LEAD Asia Pacific Network and the National AIDS Control Organisation with the Ministry of Health, India. She is passionate about addressing social injustice and creating sustainable change for young key populations living and affected with HIV.
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