Kathryn Llewellyn was a finalist Women's Social Leadership Awards | Category Leader in the Workplace / Intermediary 2013
What's your vision at Positive Women?
Our vision is simple, a world where everyone should feel positive about their future and have an equal chance to thrive regardless of where they are born or their gender.
I co-founded Positive Women to support women and children across Africa to create a better future for themselves, starting with Swaziland. We do this through creating innovative fundraising and awareness raising campaigns and by directly supporting communities to create solutions to their complex challenges.
The work we undertake work in Swaziland focuses on providing a holistic programme of support that is designed and implemented by local partners and community members. These community members are mainly women and children and the programmes target education, health, nutrition, human rights and providing income generation opportunities.
The need in Swaziland is vast. We initially started supporting education for orphans and vulnerable children and over the past three years have increased our programmes to provide a more holistic approach to the needs that communities have.
Our goal is to empower the communities we work with to be able to meet their basic needs and work themselves out of poverty. To do this they require a number of interventions. We have exceeded our targets and achieved the following:
• Provided over 800 Orphans with access to education
• Provided sustainable access to food for over 500 people. This has meant that communities are no longer reliant on food parcels that are infrequent and unpredictable.
• Provided access to healthcare for over 1000 people: treatment for opportunistic infections, an opportunity to hold advocacy sessions.
• Set up 6 income generation projects; creating an income for 50 women.
How did you maximise your opportunities?
There are three main opportunities that I maximised to ensure the success of Positive Women.
1. A relationship that I developed with a celebrity. The celebrity has a huge support base, that I have actively engaged using Twitter. We now have over 30,000 followers on out two twitter accounts and supporters all over the world, from Brazil to Egypt.
2. We are one of very few charities based on Wales that works on International Development issues and so I have used this point of difference to gain support from Welsh MP and the welsh media who have become great advocates.
3. Through an innovative campaign called Live Below the Line. I ran this nation wide campaign as a consultant for another charity and signed Positive Women up to participate in the first year. Using the leverage of this campaign Positive Women has raised over £50,000 in 2 years.More about Positive Women here.