ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH : TIMIDI DIGHA-OMOLERE

After a very long hiatus, our “Red Ribbon Advocate of the Month” column returns. In this month of March; (a month where we celebrate women and girls globally), we would like for you to meet Timidi Digha; Feminist and girl child/Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights advocate. Timidi’s job as an advocate for the girl child, makes her very familiar with the challenges that young girls face in dealing with HIV/AIDS and other sexual health/rights issues…..

Timidi

I am Timidi Digha-Omolere (many people know me as Blessing Timidi Digha or SuperGirlTimidi). I am a Feminist and a girl child/Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights advocate. I have 10years experience in the non-profit sector. The journey into advocacy started fully after my Teenage Pregnancy experience in 2005, where I started Sexuality Education.  In the world of Sexuality Education and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS always surfaces. I earned a Bachelor of Technology in Food Science & Engineering from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria. Presently I am the Community Mobilization/Advocacy Officer at 9jaGirl; an organization which advocates for the girl child on all fronts with emphasis on Sexuality Education, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS, Female Genital Mutilation (and other Harmful Traditional Practices), Sexual Violence, Early Child Marriage, Education and other issues that affect the girl child.

I am interested and committed to the rights of the girl child because I know what it means to be deprived of so much “because I am A Girl” and I wouldn’t want any girl to pass through what I passed through while growing up because of inadequate and inaccurate information. Coincidentally, I have two beautiful daughters and I wouldn’t want their sex/gender to hold them back from attaining lofty heights.

When talking about the girl child, HIV/AIDS always come to play, this is because children, girls and women are among the most vulnerable population whenever epidemics or pandemics arise, so I implement projects on HIV/AIDS as it affects the girl child. The organization has been privileged to work with Female Sex Workers between the ages of 10-19. I appreciate the ability and platform to contribute towards adequate & accurate information on Sexual & Reproductive Health, informed choices and advocacy towards the development of a vulnerable group. I am passionate about HIV/AIDS because of the prevalence in Nigeria which is high, because it affects youths the most , and the fact that it can happen to anyone.

My ability to speak 10 Nigerian languages helps me in my work especially when I have to go into communities.

 BIGGEST LESSON ON THE JOB

Patience. I meet with a lot of resistance and different types of people when I go into communities. I have learnt how to listen well and win them over with patience.

I have also learnt to lead by example, by not stigmatizing persons living with HIV and Most At Risk Populations (MARPs)

I have learnt how to use Minimum Prevention Package of Interventions effectively not just in  HIV/AIDS  but all round.

 WISH 

That Government, CSOs, MDAs, groups etc working on girl child issues, SRHR and HIV/AIDS should work with accurate data and realistic interventions to contribute towards elimination of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

CONTACT DETAILS

Facebook- Blessing Timidi Digha II

Twitter- @SuperGirlTimidi

Email- supergirltimidi@gmail.com & 9jagirl@gmail.com

Phone number- 09090640967

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN AND GIRLS DAY….8TH MARCH 2015

The International Women and Girls day is Sunday March 8th and various organizations have started campaigns on why the lives of women and girls matter.

The Theme is : Make it Happen

You have a role to play in the protection of women and girls. Speaking up for better access to health care services , gender equality, ending violence against women and girls etc.

How can you make that woman or girl shine or why do you think they are remarkable and should be recognized?

You can support organizations like  the International Women’s day and AIDS Healthcare Foundation by following the links below

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AIDShealth

 IWD-FBCoverAfricaIWD-FB-ProfilePicENG

Photo credit : AIDS Healthcare Foundation 

Spread the word ; Lend your voice; Trend the Hashtags #MakeitHappen because #Girlslivesmatter !!!!

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UPCOMING HIV/AIDS CONFERENCES…..Globally

Title: 3rd International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control

Dates: 06/16/2015 – 06/19/2015
City: Geneva
Country: Switzerland
Deadline for abstracts: 03/20/2015

http://icpic.com/index.php/conferences/icpic-2015

 

ICHA 2015: XIII International Conference on HIV and AIDS

Paper submissions : February 20, 2015
Notification of acceptance : February 28, 2015
Final paper submission and authors’ registration : March 25, 2015
Conference Dates : May 25 – 26, 2015

https://www.waset.org/conference/2015/05/london/ICHA

Title: 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention
Dates: 07/19/2015 – 07/22/2015
City: Vancouver
Country: Canada
ACTG review deadline: 01/20/2015
Deadline for abstracts: 01/27/2015
ACTG late-breaker review deadline: 05/13/2015
Deadline for late-breaker abstracts: 05/20/2015

http://www.ias2015.org/

 

18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) 2015
Dates: 11/8/2015 – 11/13/2015
Country: Tunisia

KEY DATES OPEN CLOSE
Call for Abstract January 2015 May 2015
Early Registration January 2015 March 2015
Regular Registration April 2015 July 2015
Late Registration August 2015 October 2015

http://icasa2015tunisia.org/

 

3rd International Conference on HIV/AIDS, STDs & STIs
Dates: 11/30/2015 – 12/02/2015
City: Atlanta
Country: United States
http://hiv-aids-std.conferenceseries.com/

 

World STI & HIV Congress – Brisbane

Dates: 13 – 16 September 2015
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
http://www.worldsti2015.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=91027&

 

Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference 

Dates: 16 – 18 September 2015
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
http://www.worldsti2015.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=91027&

 

7th International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics

Dates: 17 – 18 July 2015
City: Vancouver
Country: Canada

http://www.virology-education.com/event/upcoming/7th-hiv-pediatrics-workshop-2015/

 

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Feel free to drop an an email at redribbonadvocate@gmail.com

 

 

 

HIV ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW SIGNED – NIGERIA

Finally, Nigeria has joined the list of nations with a HIV anti-discrimination law. The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the HIV/AIDS anti-discrimination ACT 2014; an action that is not only commendable but also reveals the government’s commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.

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The journey to have a legislation which protects the rights and dignity of persons living with and those affected by HIV in Nigeria started as far back as 2005 and after about 9 long years, persons living with HIV now have a legal tool to address  issues of stigma and discrimination across the country.  The benefits of having a HIV anti-discrimination law in place cannot be overemphasized, as it would aid the reduction and possible elimination of discrimination against persons living with HIV  in workplaces, Schools, health facilities and other places of association.

This law could not have come at a better time, in an era where treatment challenges in Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS response seems to be snowballing. This is indeed a silver lining for about 3.4 million people living with HIV in Nigeria and hopefully will encourage more people to access treatment , without fear of being stigmatized.

Beyond the signing of the law, now more than ever there is the need to educate people at all levels on its provisions. Furthermore, it is very imperative for organizations to work together in ensuring that the law is implemented fully.  We also hope that this will spur more states in Nigeria to have a HIV anti-discrimination  law, towing the path of states like Lagos, Benue, Nasarawa etc.

To the Civil society organizations; most notably the network of people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, stakeholders, government agencies, partners, activists and non-governmental organizations who have tirelessly lobbied for the signing of the law over the past years, we say KUDOS to you!

Photo courtesy : http://www.flickr.com -93065544

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