Curro Leaner takes her HIV advocacy to Washington DC
A grade nine learner from Curro Aurora is one of just three South African girls selected to represent adolescent girls and young women in an advocacy campaign for the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment campaign in South Africa.
Fourteen-year-old Galaletsang Phalatse will partake in various activities between June and August 2022 to help make global leaders aware of the plight of girls and young women in the African continent. To wrap up her advocacy efforts, Phalatse will attend a high-level meeting in Washington DC, hosted by Ambassador Nomaindiya Mfeketo, the South African Ambassador to the United States.
A passionate campaigner for female empowerment, Phalatse has been devoted to HIV prevention for as long as she can remember. Being able to raise awareness about the importance of comprehensive sexual education and better access to HIV prevention methods on the global stage is central to her efforts.
“It is a huge honour and very humbling to be only one of three girls chosen to represent South Africa in this fantastic campaign. The Global Fund has done some fantastic work to help save lives by helping to provide HIV treatment. However, it is so important for young girls around the world to be equipped with the right knowledge to prevent HIV from spreading, and ensure we stay HIV negative. I am so excited to see that the youth is taking part in changing the world and I get to be part of the impact,” she says.
It was a compelling HIV prevention video made by the veracious youngster for people in her local community, that caught the attention of mentor Sibulele Sibaca. She in turn encouraged Galaletsang to get involved with the Global campaign. With the help of the NGO Impact Drivers, Phalaste created an inspirational pitch at the start of 2022 and hasn’t looked back since.
In March 2022, she was invited to be a panellist at an International Women’s Day event held in Sandton. Despite it being her first time presenting to such a large crowd, she confidently addressed them on pertinent issues affecting young girls today, alongside well-known celebrities and HIV activists.
“A huge congratulations to Galaletsang on her brilliant achievement. Galaletsang is exceptionally passionate about female empowerment, having previously spearheaded a Pad Drive in school, to prevent less fortunate girls from missing school because of their periods. She is an inspiration to her peers, and we wish her only the best in America. We just know she will make the most of every opportunity thrown her way and come back with plenty of stories to share,” says JC Engelbrecht, Executive Head at Curro Aurora.
The Global Fund campaign runs from March to October every three years advocating for the end of HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics. The fund raises and invests billions of dollars every three years in more than 100 countries and this year’s pledging conference will be hosted by President Joe Biden in New York.