On Wednesday June 2nd, 2021, stakeholders and advocates from across the NCDI Poverty Network gathered to formally welcome the first ever Voices of NCDI Poverty Network Advocacy Fellows at a virtual opening ceremony for the fellowship. Four advocates living with non-communicable disease and injuries (NCDIs) in NCDI Poverty Networks countries were chosen as members of the 2021-22 cohort.
The event introduced fellows to the work of the NCDI Poverty Network and Lancet NCDI Poverty Commissions and groups. Commissioners and advocates from Nepal, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, and others shared insights with the fellows on leadership and advocacy, and the importance of lived experience voices in taking the agenda forward. Fellows also had a chance to share their stories and discussed what they are excited to focus on in the coming months.
The fellowship is set to run from June 2021 through December 2022. The fellows will be working together across disease-specific issues and regions to co-develop and implement advocacy projects and strategy, in close collaboration with the larger NCDI Poverty Network. Fellows will participate on the Steering Committee of the NCDI Poverty Network, as well as be provided individual mentorship and peer-to-peer support. Training sessions on a number of related topics will be regularly provided through monthly workshop sessions, and fellows will receive individual mentorship through the co-secretariat team and the wider community. Fellows will also be provided regular opportunities to network and meet with prominent advocates, implementers, and researchers and have opportunities to represent the NCDI Poverty Network in speaking engagements or other conferences and events.
Meet the 2021-22 Fellowship Cohort:
Anu Gomanju, Nepal: Anu Gomanju is a registered public health professional, currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Global Health program of Thammasat University-Thailand with a thesis in progress in Nepal on Safe Motherhood. She has previously achieved a Master’s in Sociology and a Bachelor’s in Public Health from Universities of Nepal. She is very pleased to have an opportunity to be involved in Mental Health advocacy and to contribute to the promotion of health and nutrition in relation to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injury advocacy. When Anu was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and since that period she has been under medication, enduring a life-threatening health condition and two open-heart surgeries. With her experiences living with this condition, she knows how poverty and NCDs can affect every facet of one’s life as well as the lives of their loved ones. Therefore, she is interested as well as excited to advocate for people living in settings of poverty in preventing their lives from morbidity and mortality caused by preventable NCDs and injuries and to promote their health and prolong their lives.
Please reach out here if you would like to stay in touch with our team around the Voices of NCDI Poverty fellowship or related advocacy efforts! There will be many opportunities for others across the Network to work with and learn from the fellows as we move forward on campaigns and other opportunities together.