The Diaspora Women’s Initiative aims to empower migrant women in Ireland to deal pro-actively with their experiences of HIV/AIDS.
Migrant women with HIV/AIDS face a multitude of problems, including language difficulties, low income, loneliness and isolation, lack of knowledge of services, as well as stigma and discrimination due to their health status.
Many of these women come from war-torn areas such as Uganda, Congo, Ivory Coast, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda where women often became infected with HIV as a result of rape. Some come to Ireland through human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. They are often trying to financially support family members in their home countries, and as a consequence are at risk of further exploitation.
DWI was launched as a development NGO on 8th March 2013 on International Women's Day at Teachers Club, Parnell Street, Dublin by Minister Emer Costello.
The DWI provides a unique range of services, targeted specifically at this relatively new population. Juliet is passionate about facilitating women affected to come together to break their isolation and to help them overcome stigma and fear. DWI facilitates their access to appropriate health and social services, and provides training in peer counselling and education as a powerful force for social change in Ireland.
The vision of the DWI is the creation of an environment where HIV and related problems are openly discussed. It is hoped this will improve access to information, care, and subsequently support for people affected. It should also help reduce new infections.
Since 2008 membership has grown with a multidisciplinary advisory board comprising of religious leaders, development workers, private business, friends from migrant and non-migrant origins. DWi provide coaching and development for those affected by HIV and exclusion, along with improved access to healthcare, education and housing.
I want to leave a positive legacy in tackling HIV & AIDS.