Fellow Since 2003
Women and Children of Hope
This profile was prepared when Lucy Auwalu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Lucy puts HIV positive women at the front of projects to secure quality health care, pursue education, and defend themselves and their families from discrimination and abuse. Her organization, Women and Children of Hope (WCH), involves HIV positive women in all aspects of program design and implementation. To help these women build long-lasting relationships of support, Lucy incorporates them into a network. Group members, now in five of the country’s 36 states, combat discriminatory practices, secure affordable medication, and help each other handle intrafamily communication and testing of partners and children. Further, by telling their stories openly within their communities and to radio and television audiences, the women are changing what it means to be HIV positive: they show themselves as women of strength, dignity, and purpose, not as victims who live in fear and isolation, waiting to die.