Returning Speakers welcome new challenges in continued advocacy work |

GFAN welcomes back five returning champions to our Speakers Bureau for 2017-2018: Clara Banya, Anton Basenko, Erika Castellanos, Loyce Maturu and Maurine Murenga.

Through the past two years, our champions have had the opportunity to develop their confidence in public speaking and to better understand advocacy in donor countries through Speakers Bureau tours. Some of them have also taken on new and challenging advocacy work on boards and in advisory roles. “I have always felt empowered in participating in these events through the Speakers Bureau. Each and every time has been different and unique,” Clara shares. “I have always been nervous but having much time to prepare and practice has helped to bring confidence in me. I’ve learned that government officials and decision-makers love to hear the positive impacts that their contribution to the Global Fund has had.” Recently, Clara was asked to be a part of another group of public speakers focused on children and HIV.

Even though they are veteran speakers, they also attended the recent media training and enjoyed the challenge to refine their speaking skills and messaging. Maurine has been a GFAN Global Fund champion since 2013. Each trip has helped her to develop her story and case for Global Fund support. Since her time in the Here I Am campaign, the context of international aid has also transformed. “The situation has changed and so should my way of presentation,” Maurine explains. “Through this last media training, I’ve learned I need to link my story to make economic sense and to show how much we are doing in terms of domestic resource mobilization.”

Between 2015-2016, our speakers went on around two dozen advocacy tours across the continents and met with numerous parliamentarians, media and grassroots advocates and shared the stage with high profile philanthropists and country leaders. They attended high-level meetings, Global Fund replenishment announcements, parliamentary briefings and round-table discussions and were featured in around 100 news articles and multimedia pieces.

You can read through their key media moments and events in our Speakers Bureau toolkit, a previous newsletter and our Storify.