Young people living with HIV in Kenya start their own network

Young people living with HIV in Kenya start their own network

Young people living with HIV from six Kenyan organisations, decided to join forces and start a national YPLHIV network: KY-PLUS. “We are creating something for our younger brothers and sisters…  Those who are going to benefit without having to struggle as much as we did.”

Harmonise efforts

KY-PLUS initiator Cindy Amaiza is a student living with HIV in Nairobi and affiliated with PITCH partner AYARHEP. She explains that there is a strong need to harmonise efforts as organisations are still doing their own things instead of working together. “I envision a unified voice of young people living with HIV to be better able to address the challenges and issues young people, who are disproportionally affected by HIV and AIDS, are facing,” says Cindy.

“YP are the experts in their own issues. They know what they need. So they need to be involved in everything”

Cindy Amaiza, founder KY-PLUS

Portrait of Cindy

Thorough discussions

To kick start this initiative PITCH supported KY-PLUS through organising a workshop. It was facilitated by Jacqueline Alesi who used her knowledge and experience as former director of UNYPA, the Ugandan YPLHIV network, to set out clear directions with young people from the different founding organisations. Thorough discussions led to a clear idea of what the vision, mission, mandate and objectives of the network should be.

Ownership and enthusiasm

Besides, a maybe even more important outcome of the meeting was enhanced ownership and enthusiasm about the initiative by the young people who took part in the workshop. Cindy tells: “Two years ago we were stuck as Kenyan YPLHIV organisations on how we could harmonise ourselves and now we have kick started this. I feel honoured to be part of it.”

One voice

With support from PITCH and Kenyan people living with HIV network (NEPHAK), the network is currently working on the development of a constitution and a strategic plan and towards becoming registered. “In one year I see the voices of young people living with HIV unified. We are not greedy, we are not scattered. We are harmonised and say our issues with one voice. With that we are able to address the challenges and the issues  that young people are facing”, concludes Cindy.

"Finally it this happening and this is a huge deal"

During the workshop we asked participants how it feels to take part in KY-PLUS, how come young people lack empowerment and why the need for such a network. Read how Brenda, Consolata, Gloriah and Judy see this

Five people sitting around a flip chart

The workshop was supported by the Aidsfonds PITCH programme

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