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Hyeladzira James Mshelia Announced As 2023 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist

Mshelia was announced for the role during the annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium held in Michigan on Wednesday.

While delivering her speech, Mshelia expressed her gratitude to the TFVSA Program organisers as she reeled out her plan for the four weeks program.

According to her, there’s a lack of a consultative approach or unified framework that brings together gender advocates, which led her to starting a movement called the Gender advocate movement in Africa(GAMA).

She said, “Over the years, I had the privilege and opportunity to carry out our strategic campaign that targeted women and girls, towards ending all forms of violence towards women and girls.

“I had an opportunity to work with quite a number of gender advocates from not just in Nigeria, but from across Africa as well. We advocated for a more inclusive and safe living space for girl children which is the topmost priority of Achieving Sustainable Development Goal five.

“While carrying out most of these campaigns, how much is Nigeria from across African countries, we realize that there was no unified framework that brings together gender advocates.

“So we started GAMA, a movement that brings together all gender advocates we have trained over time in a consolidated framework to share ideas, learn, collaborate, and be able to effectively carry out gender advocacy targeted toward addressing some policies when it comes to gender disparity in the world.”

For her, the four weeks residency in Michigan will be an opportunity to improve on this movement and build a virtual collaborative platform through partnership with researchers and students.

“The goal for GAMA is to be able to build a virtual collaborative platform where you have gender advocates and victims or survivors coming together to share knowledge and get the necessary help that they would need.

“As part of the resources that will be embedded on this virtual platform is a hypothetical toolkit that I hope to develop during my four weeks residency, I hope to collaborate with researchers, students, and other social activists to be able to come up with a tool that will help them to effectively advocate from anywhere they are, provide solutions to the problems that these victims or survivors are facing and eventually connect with the policymakers or bodies responsible for litigation to carry out some legal actions when it comes to their perpetrators or some of the violence that these women are facing,” she added.

Each year, TFVSA Program brings to CEW+ a social justice activist whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues.

One goal of the program is to build the capacity and effectiveness of social activists like Mshelia.

Mshelia is also the Programs Associate at Connected Development with technical and programmatic management skills in designing and implementing gender equality, environmental and climate-related projects, policy influencing, and WASH campaigns in Africa.

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