International Steering Committee
Marama Pala (New Zealand)
Marama Pala was born in to a life of poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, crime, hardship and social marginalisation. Despite being born a Māori, an Indigenous New Zealand woman, she was able to overcome her social health determinants, gain an education and rise above her HIV and social status. This ethnic pride restoration enabled her to work through the complexities of HIV and become a public advocate/activist for Indigenous people living with HIV & AIDS. Marama was infected with HIV in 1993. This experience has helped Marama to champion Indigenous People’s and HIV globally. And also has made her an advocate against the criminalisation of HIV. Marama’s qualifications include Maori language, Administration, Law and philosophies, and an advanced diploma of business systems (IT). Her interests currently lie with a public health diploma and her two young HIV free children.
Marama is the Co-chair of the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV & AIDS, The Executive Director of INA (Māori, Indigenous, & South Pacific) HIV & AIDS Foundation, she has served on the International AIDS Conference program committee for 2012 (Washington DC) & 2014 (Melbourne), and she is currently the Co-chair of the Global Village and Youth Program.
Norlela Binti Mokhtar (Malaysia)
Norlela is the Chairperson from ICW AP elected in July 2015. She is the woman PLHIV representative for the CCM Malaysia, a member for the Technical Advisory Committee for UnZiptheLips Asia Pacific and the Chairperson of Persatuan Wahidayah Malaysia (PEWAHIM) since 2012. In 2012, Norlela started to manage the Wahidayah Home. She has a diploma in Secretarial Science from University of Technology Malaysia, and a certificate in Programming from University of Technology Malaysia.
Since 2000, she has been living with HIV and a strong advocate for the rights of woman and girls living with HIV. She is the mother for four children and has been awarded the Best Community Leader from JAKIM in 2013.
Althea Cohen (Jamaica)
Contact number: 1-876-867-9202 or 1-876-513-6390
Ms. Althea Leonie Cohen is a 38 years old female advocate.
She is a leader of caliber, she is open minded, helpful, down to earth and have years of experience in HIV work. To mention a few of her achievements; she is one of the Directors of the Jamaica Community of Positive Women Organization (JCW+) were she also serve on the Steering Committee, as a volunteer. Her roll is the Women Living With HIV (WHIV) Mobilization and Gender Officer. Ms. Cohen is the current Female Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) Representative on the Jamaica Country Coordinating Mechanism (JCCM) for the Global Fund. She has being involved in edutainment films for HIV awareness. She has been trained with the GIPA Capacity Building Program, and attending various seminars, workshops and leaderships sessions has contributed to her capacity building, making her input in policy making, mobilization, facilitation, peer support and monitoring and evaluation more effective.
As a cosmetologist, her clients, through their satisfaction have commended her in applying her skill to their elegant appearance. As a mother of four children, her income is used to ensure her children receive an education and for her to achieve her goals.
Marsha Sandiford (Barbados)
Ms Sandiford is a 38 years old female living with HIV; she has 8 years of experience in the HIV response in Barbados. She is certified in child care management, strategic Leadership management, culinary arts, and office procedures. She is also a member of CARE Barbados, CRN+, and Dance 4 life and ICW. She has being a volunteer for years in the fight to end AIDS, by handing out condoms and advocating for the rights of people living with HIV She is a hard worker and can complete any task that she is given. She is a mother of three lovely children. Her mission is to make way for herself and her children to reach their goals, with her experience, knowledge.
Teresia Njoki Otieno (Kenya)
Teresia Otieno is an accomplished advocate with experience in counseling, testing and community engagement. She is living with HIV in a discordant relationship and a mother of two. Teresia is the founder member of Personal Initiative for Positive Empowerment (PIPE) a community based organization in Kenya and a member of ICW International Steering Committee representing East Africa. She has fought for the sexual and reproductive rights of women through involvement in the Technical Working Group and the National Steering Committee on elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) in Kenya, and in international forums. Most recently, she worked in partnership with the African Gender and Media Initiative (GEM) to document experiences of women living with HIV on forced and coerced sterilization and lead a campaign to end the vice.
Europe and Central Asia
Olena Stryzak (Ukraine)
Olena Stryzhak (Cherkasy, Ukraine) is a Deputy Head of the Ukrainian NGO 'Positive Women', which she represents as a member of the International Steering Committee of International Community of Women living with HIV.
She is also a member of the Communities Delegation at the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
In 2002, Olena started to work as a consultant for HIV-positive pregnant women in Ukraine and continues to help women and girls through All-Ukrainian's Network of People Living with HIV.
Middle East and North Africa
Deloris Dockrey (USA)
Deloris Dockrey is the Director of Community Organizing for Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, New Jersey’s oldest and largest AIDS service organization, where she directs the highly successful One Conversation Project, a public education, AIDS prevention and community action campaign to raise awareness and encourage action to address the social crisis caused by HIV/AIDS for six years. As a person living with HIV, Ms. Dockrey has a personal as well as professional interest in public health policies related to the HIV epidemic. She has trained and mobilized people living with HIV to advocate for policies that impact their access to care, treatment, support, and prevention services. Most recently, she coordinates NJWAN at Hyacinth which provides Prevention Interventions programs for teen girls and women living with HIV. These interventions include SIHLE (Sisters Informing Healing Living and Empowering) and WILLOW (Women Involved in Life Learning from other Women).
Prior to Hyacinth, Deloris was Executive Director at the Newark EMA HIV Health Services Planning Council. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Ryan White Program legislation and Human Resource Services Administration (HRSA) mandates. Ms. Dockrey holds a BSc. from the School of Management - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a Masters in Public Health, School of Public Health – University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey.
In 2005, she was awarded the Keith Cyler National Activist Award from the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition.
Marvelous Muchenje (Canada)
Marvelous Muchenje has been working at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Community Health Centre in Toronto, Canada, for the last eight years, coordinating the Health Promotion ad Skills Development Project for African and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS. She is HIV positive herself and has been an advocate for human rights and women’s health since she was diagnosed in 1995. She is passionate about her work both as a service provider and a community member. In her role as the Community Health Coordinator, Marvelous makes all efforts to foster an understanding of self worth, support the women in increasing their capacity to improve their lives and that of their families.
Prior to coming to Canada in 2006, Marvelous worked for two (2) years as the National Finance Secretary at Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV (ZNNP+). She also worked for four years as the Deputy Director for The Centre, an organization that was run for and by people living with HIV in Zimbabwe. In her role, she managed relationships between the organization and vital external government and NGO agencies; designed and delivered successful funding proposals to these agencies and generated regular reports, and represented the operational side of the organization on the agency’s Board of Directors.
Marvelous is an accomplished facilitator skilled at designing and delivering presentations, for both internal and external stakeholders, incuding fundraising proposals, high-level organizational overviews and conferences/meetings. She actively participates in research projects wearing different hats, as a co-investigator, collaborator, committee member and participant. Marvelous recognizes the importance of Greater and Meaningful involvement of PHA’s and has received numerous awards in recognition of her contribution in the HIV movement.
What do I bring to the ISC
I have been a member of ICW since 2002, and fully understand some of the challenges and successes of the organization. As a member, I have raised awareness of some of the resources that have been developed by the organization, and have participated in some of ICW's public events during conferences, and assisted in recruiting new community members to join ICW. I had the opportunity to represent ICW NA at the ISC meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2014, and it gave me the zeal to want to continue participating in some of the work.
I have been working in the HIV/AIDS field since 2000, and has worked with people living with HIV, researchers, service organizations, policy makers to develop key strategic planning and policy documents. In addition, I have worked closely with national and local organizations, including the AIDS Bureau, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; Ontario HIV Treatment; Public Health Agency of Canada; Canadian AIDS Society; and Ontario AIDS Network. Internationally, I have worked with ICW, GNP+, African Black Diaspora Global Network (ABDGN), International Red Cross, AbbVie and ViiV pharmaceuticals, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, and Association for Women's Rights in Development. As I continue to work closely with some of these agencies, I will be able to raise the banner of ICW and advocate for women living with HIV.
I am committed to working from an inclusive feminist, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-oppression, multilingual participatory framework in addressing the issue of access to health care for all women living with HIV; encompassing gender, race, class, violence, sexual orientation, religion, culture, language, ability, immigration status and socioeconomic circumstances. Given the opportunity to serve as the ISC for North America, I am willing to learn best practice from others, raise awareness of some of the challenges and successes from North America, develop skills that will enhance my work with the ISC, ICW NA Interim Board, and community members. I will work closely with others in knowledge exchange and dissemination, and abide to ICW Governance Manual.