“Once upon a time, I used to throw my drugs or even hide them under the bed for fear of being rejected, but now i preach about adherence. I help others to live their positive because i know and understand what it is like to live in fear, not knowing who to trust and simply finding a reason to live” - Precious
Introducing to you Precious Mwewa Kaniki, a bold and courageous young lady from Zambia. Precious’ story is a mirror to the “untold” or rather ‘unheard’ stories of many young girls around the globe, the only child among her siblings to be born with HIV/AIDS. And when she discovered, it took her 7 good years to accept her status with 3 failed suicide attempts. When she finally accepted her status, she dedicated her life to advocacy using her own life experience to fight the stigma related to HIV.
She is now a powerful and loud HIV activist who recently founded the phenomenal positive youth, an organization that serves as a platform for young people living with HIV from across the country and outside Zambia to get the support they need and share their own experiences. Phenomenon positive youths all started as a WhatsApp support group for young people affected or infected with HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Now it has members from Uganda and other African countries. They use story telling as a tool to fighting the stigma and discrimination through radio and TV shows, other activities include social media advocacy, online counselling and community outreach where they get to fundraise money in order to help the vulnerable members of the community that are victims of the disease.
I chose this story from a bunch of other inspirational stories because personally it melts my heart because In a such a judgmental world that still sees HIV as an immoral issue instead of a medical condition, it takes more than courage to publicly say am infected and this is what I believe in. in the context of life, this is a lesson to all of us young people that we should never be afraid to use our voices and experiences because we all unique and so are our stories; they have the power to change the world and break those taboos if only we own them.
Phenomenal positive youth is more than just an organization but a family and strong support system. The impact it has on community is massive, they send a strong message to other infected youth who are still living in fear and isolation to let them know that they are not alone and that HIV can live in their bodies but cannot stop them from accomplishing their dreams, they are also fighting stigma in a special way. I like Precious, believe in the power of story telling and confidence as stepping stones to success, therefore being chosen as a Global ambassador for the better tomorrow is an opportunity for me to share the stories of other ambitious young people that are making change in their communities hoping that someone, somewhere will be inspired and perhaps challenged to step out of his/her comfort zone and join the global community of change makers.
Together we can make world a better place.