The VAV Fellowship is an innovative, cross-regional, one-year program that seeks to engage twenty (20) fellows from ten (10) civil-society organizations across two regions, and in up to two different languages (to be determined by the selected fellows). The VAV Fellowship will advance the capacity and global network of community-based organizations combatting gender-based violence. The VAV Fellowship is a project of Vital Voices under Voices Against Violence: The Gender-Based Violence Global Initiative, which seeks to improve protections and access to justice and resources for advocates and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
The VAV Fellowship will include tailored trainings and promote peer-to-peer learning and exchanges among participants; it will include virtual and in-person gatherings and activities, the latter of which will depend on the evolving COVID-19 situation and consequent travel restrictions. The selected fellows will gain knowledge of innovative strategies to address systemic and institutional gaps in their region or country, as well as leadership development experience, grant-management skills, fundraising techniques, the capacity to establish and implement clear policies and procedures within their organization, and best practices for mitigating secondary trauma and supporting self-care efforts.
The trainings and cross-regional discussions will be carried out in combination with concurrent small grants of $20,000 – $30,000 USD (the award amount will depend on organizational capacity) for each organization to strengthen their individual and organizational capacity to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Fellows will have the opportunity to submit a proposal for their grant-funded project once the fellowship is in progress.
Meet The 2021 Fellows
2021 Fellow, Psychologist | Association for Liberty & Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G)
Eniko Gall is a psychologist with 16 years of experience working with victims and survivors of domestic violence. Through her role at the Association for Freedom and Gender Equality (A.L.E.G.) in Sibiu, Romania, she provides specialized support to domestic violence survivors through individual and/or group sessions, phone and online counselling, and coordinating psycho-social counseling services. Over the years, she has specialized in women’s rights and domestic violence interventions. Since 2017, she has led self-help/support groups for domestic violence survivors through the “I can do it too” (#»òiEuReu»ôesc) program, which connects survivors with one another, conducting workshops and trainings for specialists and survivors to develop the biggest community of survivors in Romania. Dr. Gall also designs and delivers workshops/trainings for specialists active in the domestic and/or gender-based violence field.
Rebecca Ishmatu Cole
2021 Fellow, Coordinator | Amazonian Initiative Movement
I am Rebecca Ishmatu Cole. I like cooking, watching football, reading novel, newspapers and articles to strengthen my ability in activism. I am a degree holder. I work at the Amazonian Initiative Movement as Clubs Coordinator. I am a feminist, and I work to protect the rights of girls, women and children. As a human rights activist, I work to ensure that the rights of girls, women and children are not tampered with and that the also educate them about their responsibilities. I work to ensure the success of programs in our organization and I have the ability to work under pressure.
2021 Fellow, Director & Legal Representative | Association for Liberty & Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G)
Camelia Proca is founder and director of Association for Liberty and Gender Equality – A.L.E.G., a non-governmental organization active since 2004 in Romania and Eastern Europe on promoting gender equality and preventing and combating gender-based violence. Camelia has a diploma in the equal status and rights of women from Raol Wallenberg Institute in Sweden and served as board member of the European WAVE network. Together with A.L.E.G. team, Camelia piloted specialized services for survivors of sexual violence, and in 2018 established an innovative approach in the area of empowering survivors of gender-based violence based on peer-to-peer support guided by professionals. A.L.E.G. team is helping replicate this model in the Republic of Moldova.
GRACIELA MARÍA LÓPEZ GÓMEZ
2021 Fellow, Administrative Coordinator of Programs | Mujeres, Democracia y Ciudadanía A.C.
Social leader with more than 30 years of experience in community work in the Toluca Valley, promoting social organization in neighborhoods, public land, communities and native towns in the municipalities of Toluca, Otzolotepec, Temoaya and Almoloya de Juárez since 1988, promoting the creation of youth, peasant, indigenous, housewives, land keeping, and teachers’ organizations.
ELSA MARÍA ARROYO HÉRNANDEZ
2021 Fellow, Coordinator & Legal Representative | Mujeres, Democracia y Ciudadanía A.C.
Social leader with more than 30 years of experience in territorial management, local politics, operation of technical cooperation projects and their administration, with a focus on gender and human rights, she has facilitated various grassroots women’s organizational processes such as Urban@s: Por nuestro Derecho a la Ciudad, the Red Comunidad Anticorrupción and the Consejo Ciudadano de Mujeres del Distrito Federal, she is currently the Legal Representative of Mujeres, Democracia y Ciudadanía A.C., and an alternate member of the Civil Society Advisory Group for Mexico for UN Women. and alternate member of the Civil Society Advisory Group for Mexico of UN Women, member of the international networks Huairou Commission and the Global Feminist Platform for Land and Territories and the National Feminist Front, CIMTRA: Citizens for Transparent Municipalities and the local networks, Red Mexiquense de Gobierno Abierto and Ecatepec Unido. She has been a Speaker at the Ninth World Urban Forum, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the Theme: Improving slums and delivering gender-sensitive basic services. 2018, at Habitat III held in Quito Ecuador 2016Speaker at the State of Mexico Conference 2017: Elections, Corruption and Social and Gender Violence, at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of UNAM. 2017 Speaker at the III Ibero-American Summit of Local Gender Agendas Women and City held in the City of Santiago, Chile, with the theme: Pensador@s Urban@s: an experience of territorial intervention in the metropolitan area of the Valley of Mexico. 2016.
DUANY JAHAIRA ZUNIGA HERNANDEZ
2021 Fellow, Coordinator & Organizer (Gender Rights Advocate) | Asociación de Apoyo Mutuo entre Mujeres Honduras (APOMUH)
Being able to help and advise women is a very nice experience and a satisfaction to help others without anything in return. My goal is always for them to know their rights and not let themselves be humiliated, and to be able to value themselves and know the value that each one of them is truly worth!
ZOILA ARGENTINA LAGOS LICONA
2021 Fellow, Coordinator | Asociación de Apoyo Mutuo entre Mujeres Honduras (APOMUH)
Zoila Argentina Lagos Licona: Born on December 12, 1951, in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. My mother was originally from Lenca and my father of African descent, (an origin that he always denied, convinced by the process of miscegenation of which most people in Latin America were victims) however I identify myself as an Afro-descendant woman. I am a nurse by profession. I currently live in the city of Choloma, in the northern part of Honduras, Central America. I come from mixed organizations, as a unionist woman, my first school of sensitization towards the right to organize was in the union movement, as a member of the union of social security workers SITRAIHSS. As time went by, when I learned that it was absolutely necessary to be sensitized to women’s human rights, I started on this path to build myself as a feminist for about 30 years now. I have been in several women’s spaces, supported initiatives of laws in favor of women and supported women’s organizational initiatives in the construction of community feminisms, to contribute to a dignified life for all, as this sexist, patriarchal, violent and capitalist society is mostly made up of us women. I believe that we must continue working for ourselves, and for others, raising our voices to claim and defend our spaces and territories. We must learn to listen to each other and close the gap of the eternal enmity between women. To learn to heal and grow together. To share wisdom, experiences, to support each other in order to transcend.
JOSEFA CAROLA ARAYA GALLARDO
2021 Fellow, Head of Communications | Fundación Antonia
Journalist from Concepción, in charge of communications at Fundación Antonia since 2018, highly interested in social initiatives and gender approach. Today she seeks to work to eradicate gender-based violence.
MARÍA CONSULEO HERMOSILLA GONZÁLEZ
2021 Fellow, Founder & Director | Fundación Antonia
Founder and director of Fundación Antonia, in these 4 years of the Foundation I have dedicated myself to work forming teams to work with survivors of partner violence (formal and informal), so that they receive reparative therapy and do not fall back into abusive relationships. From May 2017 to 2019 I did more than 200 face-to-face talks with children from 12 years old to university age throughout Chile, to entire companies, organizations, health services, etc., to prevent, through education, intimate partner violence. As a representative of Fundación Antonia I participate in the Network of Teams to Prevent Suicide (REPS), we are a group of organizations that participate collaboratively to promote suicide prevention.
2021 Fellow, Program Manager | Necuvinte Association
Monica Tudorache studied Political Science and then graduated a Master’s degree in Equal Opportunities at the University of Bucharest. She has been a member of Necuvinte Association (an active NGO in the field of domestic and gender-based violence in Romania) for over two years, serving as a Gender Equality Expert and human rights activist. She is involved in awareness-raising campaigns, advocacy actions and communications on issues related to human rights. In addition to this, she works with A.R.T. Fusion organization, where she is active in the non-formal education field, on human rights issues, with a focus on gender education.
2021 Fellow, Founder & Executive Director | Necuvinte Association
Law School graduate with an International and Community Law master degree, worked for 20 years in creating public policies, national strategies and inclusive programs for vulnerable categories in Romania, inclusion of Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity and women and children victims of gender-based violence. Her motivation is the memory of her grandmother, who was born without the right to vote. She believes that history should never be forgotten. In a world filled with hate speech and misconceptions, our true power comes from accepting diversity in our lives and allowing ourselves the gift to understand the reality. She likes to say, “Think how monotone life would be if we all would be the same.” Her vision of the world is equality and equity for everybody.
2021 Fellow, Social Worker | The Hug Project
Nattakarn Noree, Social Worker at HUG Project: Ms. Noree is a child forensic interviewer in Thailand. She was managing anti-TIP projects at non-profit organizations (NGO) in Thailand where she liaised with government institutions and civil society organizations to provide protection services to TIP survivors. She also has experience in supporting displaced people in Thai-Myanmar border. Ms. Noree has a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master’s degree in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management. She is currently a scholarship Ph.D. student in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Chulalongkorn University.
WIRAWAN (BOOM) MOSBY
2021 Fellow, Founder & Director | The Hug Project
Founder and Director of the HUG Project Thailand, Boom Mosby is dedicated to preventing, protecting, and restoring child victims of sexual abuse and human-trafficking. In June 2017, she was honored by the U.S. State Department as a TIP ReportHero as part of their 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report. Ms. Mosby is the first Thai woman to receive this distinction. Career highlights include the opening of Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Chiang Mai – the first children’s advocacy center in Southeast Asia- which she now directs; and the formation of TICAC (Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children) task force- in which she participates actively. As a TICAC member, Ms. Mosby collaborates with law enforcement and other agencies to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of Internet-facilitated crimes against children in Thailand. TICAC and CAC were mentioned in the TIP Report three years in a row. Her latest efforts include of the formation of TATIP (Thailand Anti Trafficking in Persons Taskforce) working with Thai law enforcement and related government sectors in protecting victim of human trafficking utilizing victim centric approach. Ms. Mosby’s current functions include providing investigative support through fact-finding, case coordination, and consultations with various law enforcement, social work, NGO, and government officials; and conducting key forensic interviews with child victims of trafficking and sexual abuse. Her current objectives include promoting the expanding of child friendly justice among police and prosecutors.
MARY JOY BARCELONA
2021 Fellow, Program Coordinator | Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)
My name is Mary Joy Espinosa Barcelona, from Manila- Philippines. I work with the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), a non- government organization empowering women migrant returnees, trafficking victims/survivors and members of their families. Presently, the coordinator of the Alternative Livelihood Program called SIKHAY, in-charge of the center-based project’s operations and hands-on skills training in sewing and hand-loom weaving. I also facilitate seminars/workshops on cooperative, entrepreneurial management and theater. Roughly 150 women and 50 youth have participated in the skills training and seminars/workshops through the years. I am the director of the musicale play of DAWN’s Teatro Akebono for the youth group “The Crane Dog” which is being presented in the various prefectures in Japan annually and the women’s group “Regalo,” (The Gift). The play is being presented in conferences and universities in the Philippines. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my skills and talents. It serves as a therapy for my well-being and connecting myself to the women and youth. We are able to managed and survived our situation from being trafficked victims – to survivors – to advocates. My humble contribution was recognized by the Soroptimist International for Making a Difference for Women and Unsung Women Heroes Awards in 2008 and 2009.
2021 Fellow, Executive Director | Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)
Carmelita Gopez Nuqui, is one of the founding members and Executive Director of the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN) since 1996. DAWN is a non-government development organization assisting Filipino women migrant workers in Japan, the returnees and their Japanese-Filipino children in the promotion and protection of their human rights and welfare. In 2011, DAWN expanded its work to include assisting Filipino domestic worker returnees from the different countries, (Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar). In April 2015, DAWN was granted Special Consultative Status by the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council. DAWN was granted a Consultative Relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) on March 8, 2018. DAWN celebrated its 25th Anniversary on February 13, 2021 with the theme “DAWN@25: Continuing Partnership & Support for Women and Children Towards a Better Normal. “In 2006, Ms. Nuqui was invited to join the Vital Voices Global Partnership’s Global Advisory Council representing the Philippines during its strategic planning meeting in New York. Ms. Nuqui was featured in the book Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Vital Voices CEO Alyse Nelson in 2012.She serves as President of the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW), a registered civil society organization where DAWN is an active member. Together with its 14 other member organizations, PMRW encourages the recognition, protection and fulfillment of Filipino migrants’ rights – both in the Philippines and abroad during the entire migration process.
MABEL MARIATOU JALLOH
2021 Fellow, Program Manager | Girl Child Network
Mabel Jalloh is the Program Manager for Girl Child Network Sierra Leone a National Non-governmental Organization that seeks to promote the rights and holistic empowerment of the girl child in the home, school and community in Sierra Leone. The main issues we seek to address include girls’ empowerment, through sending them to school and supporting their talents which will empower them in the long run. Mabel holds a BA in International Development from Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex and MA in Education, Health Promotion and International Development from Institute of Education University College London. Mabel has also Volunteered in India with International Citizens Service through Restless Development working on health promotion and creating awareness in schools and communities and in Chile working with English Open Doors teaching English.
2021 Fellow, Country Director | Girl Child Network
Anita Koroma is a qualified Social Worker with over twenty years hands-on social work experience, skilled at working with varied client groups and assessing their needs. She is a Child’s right activist, trainer on gender issues, mentor, trainer on menstrual hygiene management and an inspirational speaker. Anita holds a BA (Hons) in Social Work from University of East London (UEL) and is currently completing Master in Entrepreneurship at the University of Makeni in Sierra Leone. Anita is the Country Director of Girl Child Network Sierra Leone which has and is still supporting thousands of girls from all backgrounds. She is also the founder of LaLaPosh enterprise and EcoJC Pad Enterprise a social enterprise generating funds and creating jobs for women and girls in producing reusable sanitary pads. Anita Koroma is a global campaigner for menstrual hygiene management and she is a female genital mutilation activist. Anita continues to be an active and passionate advocate on all forms of abuse, harmful cultural practices as well as an empowerment agent for girls and women national and international.
Rhoda Precious Gbla
2021 Fellow, Program Director | Amazonian Initiative Movement
My name is Rhoda Precious Gbla and I started my career as human rights defender after I witnessed the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone. In 1999 the rebels entered the capital city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. They committed brutal atrocities including the burning of my family‘s residence. I have advocated for children, youth and women’s rights and supported various survivors of GBV and human/child trafficking. My work journey began in 2000-2002 as an Education Trainer with the Norwegian Refugee Council, training teachers for the implementation of the Rapid Response Education Project. I was the Advocacy and Case Management Officer at the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Kambia branch supporting their integration of war affected youth into their communities. I provided leadership for over four years at the World Hope International Sierra Leone Recovery Center for Victims of Human Trafficking and Gender Based Violence (GBV). These experiences gave me the drive to pursue a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies in 2013 at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Also, I have worked as District Inclusion officer-Kono and was responsible for training, monitoring and supervising teachers on the identification, reporting and response to School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV).Presently, I am the Program Director of the Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM); a Woman led nongovernmental organization working against the total elimination of harmful practices against women and girls with a focus on FGM/Elimination which for a very long time affected the health and well- being of women and girls.
2021 Fellow, Program Coordinator | Nkumu Fed Fed
An Educationalist with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the School of Education, University of Leicester in England. Helen has served as the Director of Administration and Human Resources in the Rural Electrification Agency of Cameroon in Yaounde from 2000 to 2016. She has participated in various international leadership exchange programmes, notably by the British Council (Pan African Leadership Programme), the United States of America Embassy in Cameroon, and the Vital Voices Global Partnership. Served in Nkumu Fed Fed from its inception in 1996 as Vice President from 1996 to 2009, during which she represented the Organization both Nationally and Internationally in all activities and projects with Partners. In her role as Chairperson of the Human Rights Program Area, Helen was involved with the design, implementation, and follow up of projects in program areas such as withdrawals, rehabilitation, and reintegration of victims of trafficking and vulnerable cases in addition to women’s empowerment programs. She is involved in skills training for youth and women empowerment programs, as well as design. Helen is also responsible for carrying out capacity building workshops for Excomembers of the Organization. Helen has a passion for community service and works with various women and community associations to contribute to justice and peace. She was honored with the highest traditional title for women in her community, Na Jalla, by His Royal Majesty Dr. Doh Ganyonga III of Bali Nyonga for her contribution to the development of her community. Helen is married and the mother of three Children.
Eunice Tita Tata
2021 Fellow, President General | Nkumu Fed Fed
Eunice Tita Tata is a gender and development strategist, currently heading the world-spread Nkumu Fed Fed NGO in which she previously graduated through various posts, pursuing the organization’s vision in the program areas of education, human rights, health, skills building, secure livelihood and the environment. A multi-talented enthusiast of varied fields, Eunice is a married educationist, a Regional Pedagogic Inspector of School Life, and a consultant with the British Council. Her schooling gently meanders from Yaoundé University and ENS Yaoundé to the University of Leeds (UK) and ESAMI in Arusha (Tanzania), besides brief courses and stopovers in Italy, Ghana, Nigeria and USA. Eunice has received many awards nationally and internationally such as the following: A beneficiary of the Hornby award as an educationist from the United Kingdom in 2006; recipient of an award for coordinating international trade policy program for francophone Africa in Arusha Tanzania in 201; recognition as a dynamic leader in prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) in the northwest region of Cameroon; and recently, Eunice received a certificate from the U.S. State Department as leader of an NGO that is spearheading the fight against trafficking in persons in Cameroon. She has carried out a lot of research in gender related studies ranging from women and ICT in Cameroon; the role of women in international trade negotiations; gender related budgeting in organizations; women and peacebuilding.