In 1999, as a married 40-year-old looking to continue her education in agricultural economics, Siphiwe Hlophe discovered she was HIV positive. As a result, her husband left her and she lost an academic scholarship, but she reacted by co-founding an organization in 2001 called Swazis for Positive Living (Swapol), which aims to fight gender discrimination related to HIV/Aids and help other HIV/Aids victims. In 2007 Siphiwe was nominated for and won, the Index on Censorship award by RT Hon David Blunkett. Siphiwe has been an activist all of her life fighting for equality and justice. She is an amazingly courageous woman who has made an incredible difference to the lives of women and people living with HIV.
Kathryn has been involved in campaigning and development management for nine years. Her experience includes: CEO of Pump Aid, a water and sanitation NGO working in Zimbabwe, Liberia and Malawi, running an innovative campaign called “Live Below the Line” for the Global Poverty Project, leading campaigning NGO Action for southern Africa and most recently International Development Director for Global Ethics. Kathryn has one a number of awards including: the Sheila McKechnie conflict resolution award for her campaigning work on democracy in Zimbabwe and an UNTLD award for Social entrepreneurs. Kathryn is also an advisor to the Channel four Battlefront show, mentoring young campaigners and a number other International NGO’s on both Fundraising and programme development.
“I am so proud to have co-founded Positive Women with Siphiwe. Swaziland is a country that is nearing breaking point and we refuse to let it break. We established Positive Women to support empower the amazing women in Swaziland to change their lives and the lives of their communities. It’s an honour to be working with Siphiwe to make this vision a reality and between the both of us we will make it happen and soon.”