Hi Stop AIDSers!

I’m now into my second week as the Coordinator for the Student Stop AIDS Campaign so I thought it was about time I said a proper hello!

Kate has been my SSAC guardian angel so far and has been guiding me through the ropes of the role. Today is my first day without her and like the first day on your bike without stabilizers-it is both scary and exhilarating!

But I am really, really excited to have been given this opportunity! I have volunteered and worked in the UK international development field for a number of years and, I don’t know if you guys know it, but SSAC is renowned as one of the bravest, most well-informed and ambitious movements for change out there! You guys aren’t afraid to go right to the source of a problem -like challenging the inherent inequalities of global trade rules- and demand justice! That is my kind of campaigning!

From working and living in Zimbabwe and Mozambique where HIV/AIDS is a common occurrence,  I gained an insight into the challenges  people can face when they don’t have access to the type of treatment they need.  It shouldn’t be this way! I am dedicated to ensuring that where you’re born or the balance in your bank account DOESN’T dictate your right to leading a safe and healthy life.

It’s great to be around like-minded people.

But who am I you ask?  Here’s a quick 101:

1) I’m a big fan of creative campaigning, the more creative the better! During my Masters at Goldsmiths I got really involved with this. In reaction to the increase in tuition fees and the privatisation of education we formed a campaigning group- The University for Strategic Optimism. Among other things I dressed up as a clown and danced outside the  Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and helped put on ‘flash-lectures’ in RBS and TESCO! Always up for some creative subversion!

2) I love the arts! I sing in a choir, play piano and guitar, take photos (disclaimer- I am in no way a professional!) and go to a lot of galleries. I’m really keen to organise some HIV/AIDS themed events that combine artistic elements, it is a great way to communicate with people on a refreshing level, so get your thinking berets on!

3) I know that advocacy works! Previous to SSA, I was working at the advocacy organisation RESULTS UK who campaign around ecuation, micro-finance and international health justice issues. Whilst there I learned a great deal about the advocacy process and was part of a team who regularly managed to get their voices heard right at the top of DfID!

4) I’m a keen collective brainstormer. What does that even mean? It means that the best ideas I have always come from hearing other people’s ideas and working collaboratively, so lets get sharing!

5) I like chatting. Emails, texts, calls..get in touch!

I’m really looking forward to meeting you all at the National Conference in November. Plans for the next campaign are coming together and it is incredibly exciting, highly ambitious and potentially revolutionary!

See you there comrades!