Salone News

‘Voice of Women’ empowered by opening of new offices

2 November 2007 at 00:25 | 295 views

An HIV/AIDS awareness organization, Voice of Women (VOW) held the official launching ceremony of its new offices on Wednesday, 31 October at 30 Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.

Voice of Women, a community-based network of HIV positive women, was launched in May 2007 by the (then) Minister of Health and Sanitation. Its goal is to contribute to policy issues relating to HIV and AIDS for women in Sierra Leone.

With the support of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), new premises have been established for Voice of Women next to sister AIDS-awareness organisation SWAASL, where they were previously housed. In addition to funding the opening and running of the new office and national secretariat, UNIFEM will support the establishment regional branches in all twelve districts, effective networking of the organisation and the enhancement of the capacity of the organisation for effective advocacy and training related to HIV/AIDS issues.

UNIFEM Regional Programme Director, Florence Butegwa was present at the ceremony and remarked that the hard work for Voice of Women now begins. “Now that the network is established and the offices are set up, the women will be called on to teach and speak on the issues around HIV and AIDS,” stated Mrs. Butegwa. “The challenge that faces them is developing those training programmes. The women of this network will become role models and leaders for all women in Sierra Leone. All eyes are on Voice of Women. UNIFEM is confident they can rise to the challenge.”

One of the coordinators for Voice of Women responded with enthusiasm; “we see the need for positive living and want to contribute to it. We want to move forward doing all in our power and utilising resources available to us to improve our lives.”

Present at the auspicious ceremony were representatives from NAS, UNIFEM, UNAIDS, SWAASL, Action Aid and UNDP.

Source: UNIFEM, Sierra Leone.