A New Year's message from Mark Lister, Progressio Chief Executive

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015. This is a year of huge opportunity for us all, and for our planet.

This is a seminal year for international development; the world’s leaders have a chance to shape the future of goals, agreements and treaties which will impact all of us.

Progressio has 75 years of experience of working with the some of the poorest and most marginalised people. This experience has shown us that the decisions that will be made this year are all the more significant to their lives.

For the Love of... Bishops?

Progressio has been watching the Lima Conference with a keen eye and excited anticipation. This conference marks the very last chance for delegates from all over the world to gather together and put some solid commitments on the table before any final deal is agreed at Paris next year. Right now any such deal hangs in the balance. That is why this event has been so important.

Commitments need to be made and they need to be bold. 

Teclah's message for World AIDS Day 2014

'It takes a caring heart, perseverance and a lot of education to overcome stigma.'

Teclah Ponde's work supporting some of the world's most marginalised people living with HIV and AIDS to access treatment and overcome stigma has been inspirational. We asked Teclah to tell us what motivates her and to share her own personal message for World AIDS Day 2014. Here's what Teclah told us: 

Q: What motivates you to work to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS?


Three ICS volunteers take a HIV test to raise awareness at home

Three former ICS volunteers have visited their local clinics to get tested for HIV in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Andreia Fausto, Nekisha De Costa and Thomas Inglehearn went to clinics in Leeds, London and Lilongwe (the capital of Malawi) to show solidarity with those they worked with during their ICS placement and to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Becoming a light to the community on HIV and AIDS

When Progressio started partnering with the Talowadag Coalition in 2006, the network of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) had 21 members. Now, the group includes more than 680 people who are living positively with HIV. 87% of these people are women. The group has become a beacon of hope and a source of much-needed support for the community. This world AIDS Day, we are sharing the stories of empowered people who are combating stigma against HIV.

Finding hope as parents living with HIV

Mariam Abdullah Hassan lives with her husband, a son and two daughters in Al-Rabassa Street, Hodeidah. When Mariam and her husband found out they were living with HIV, life felt as though it had stopped because of the discrimination that exists in Yemen. But, with shared information and counselling, things have changed. In the run up to World AIDS Day, we are telling Mariam's story.

How we fight HIV discrimination in Yemen

Afrah is a mother of five. She is also a widow living with HIV.  As a member of Progressio partner organisation, Women in Sustainable Development (WASD), she has recieved support and been empowered through workshops on HIV and AIDS. Before World AIDS Day, hear Afrah's story.

Through WASD, Afrah attended several workshops on HIV and AIDS conducted by Progressio. She learned the facts about HIV and AIDS, its transmission and, crucially, mother to child contractions. As a mother, this training has been essential.

How can volunteers support women living with HIV in Malawi?

Joana Phiri is an in-country ICS volunteer with Progressio in N’gabu, Malawi. As we prepare to mark World AIDS Day, Joana told us about her experience working alongside support groups for women living with HIV and AIDS. Find out what volunteers in Malawi are doing right now to combat stigma against HIV by reading Joana’s blog here.

“We went to N’gabu to visit four support groups for women living with HIV and AIDS. The main aim was to find out the problems they are facing and what they think the solutions to these problems might be.

Challenging discriminatory social norms against young women to prevent HIV and AIDS

In many countries, the expectation of young women to remain abstinent until marriage restricts them from access to information about protecting themselves from pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infections like HIV. Often, health systems don’t help them protect themselves from HIV and AIDS because of their social status as young women.