The Irish Aid Annual Professor Father Michael Kelly Lecture – 2022

November 15, 2022

The Irish Aid Annual Professor Father Michael Kelly Lecture – 2022 was held at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. This years focus was on the important theme of HIV at a Time of Crisis.

 

Date: Thursday 1 December, 2022
Time: 17:00 to 19:00 Irish Time 

 

The annual Irish Aid Professor Father Michael Kelly HIV Lecture is held every year to coincide with World AIDS Day. For over 50 years, Tullamore-born Professor Father Michael J. Kelly had worked tirelessly in the fight against HIV/AIDS in his naturalised country of Zambia, and internationally, spreading the message of strength, dignity, and hope for those affected and at risk.

 

Every year, this event gives us an opportunity to come together as a community, to keep ourselves up-to-date in terms of the current priorities for HIV and AIDS and importantly to ensure that we keep HIV high on the agenda.

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This year, the event was held on Thursday 1st December, 2022 from 17:00-19:00 Irish Time, at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. This years focus was on the important theme of HIV at a Time of Crisis.

Scroll down for speaker bios.

 

Opening remarks:

  • Minister Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora

Keynote speakers:

  • Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director, Alliance for Public Health, Ukraine
  • Fungai Murau, MCIM, MA, Independent Consultant (HIV), United Kingdom

Panelists:

  • Erik Agudelo, Founder, Play Learn Develop and Volunteer, MPower
  • Michael Gaffey, Director General, Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), DFAD
  • Robbie Lawlor, Activist, Co-founder Access to Medicines Ireland

Moderator:

  • Dil Wickremasinghe, Broadcaster, Journalist and Activist

 

Wakakosha Music Video

We had a showing of the newly released Wakakosha music video.

The Wakakosha music video was created as part of a programme by Irish-based organisation Beyond Stigma, Speak Up Sing Out Music School and Zimbabwe-based Zvandiri. It shows a song created by young people affected by HIV, aged 18-23yrs living in Zimbabwe taking part in the Wakakosha (‘I am worth it’) programme. It is an evidence-based, peer-led programme aimed at addressing self-stigma and shame. During a creative songwriting module, the young people shared their experiences of stigma and the changes they experienced as a result of questioning their deeply held beliefs. This original song was co-written with the young people with the expertise of Eimear Crehan. Father Michael himself was particularly passionate about supporting young people living with HIV and loved music expression. 

VIEW HERE

 

Music from SUSO Focus Choir

We had music on the day from SUSO Focus Choir.

The SUSO Focus Choir from Kilcock, County Kildare are part of the Speak Up Sing Out Music School together with their Choir Director and singer songwriter Eimear Crehan.  Aged between 11 – 17 and they meet once a week. They love singing and it brings them a lot of joy.

VIEW HERE

 

How To Tell a Secret Trailer

We previewed the ‘How To Tell A Secret’ trailer on the day.

In “How to Tell a Secret”, people diagnosed with HIV talk about the act of disclosure and the relationship between advocacy, stigma and secrecy that drives many to withhold their HIV status in modern-day Ireland. Some reveal their HIV diagnosis for the first time on camera. This film premiered on World AIDS Day, 1st December 2022.

VIEW HERE

 

Keynote Speakers

Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director, Alliance for Public Health, Ukraine

Andriy Klepikov is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Health, one of the largest HIV and TB focused NGOs in the country and in the region. Being its founding director, he is currently managing the organization with over 100 staff, implementing a complex and comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care program as well as other programs aimed at fighting TB, HCV and more recently COVID-19.

Andriy is managing one of the largest harm reduction programs globally in partnership with field-level NGOs reaching over 200 000 people who inject drugs annually with its services, he has led the transitioning opioid-substitution therapy program (the largest in EECA region) to the state funding, he is managing his organization country wide TB program. In his capacity as Executive Director, Andriy also supervises the regional portfolio, which includes over 20 countries of Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia.

In the recent days Andriy is leading his organization’s efforts to sustain HIV, TB response in the situation of russian aggression against Ukraine, implementing needs based support to the moist vulnerable groups, including humanitarian assistance, and help internally displaced people and war refugees.

He is International AIDS Society (IAS) Governing Council member, Alternate Board member at the Global Fund Board and a member of the Global Fund Strategy Committee, Frontline AIDS Partnership Council member and Chair of the Oversight Advisory Committee of TB Europe Coalition (TBEC).

Resources

 

Fungai Murau, MCIM, MA, Independent Consultant (HIV), United Kingdom 

Fungai Murau, MCIM, MA is a highly experienced public health expert with emphasis in the HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) fields. Fungai is a passionate researcher who believes that continued research that leaves no one behind is critical to ensure that we remain on target to ending AIDS by 2030. Her expertise spans across research, contribution to policy development and conference delivery with key global platforms. Fungai currently works as an independent public health consultant focusing on policy, advocacy, and project delivery 

Fungai is also a member of the Board of Trustees for three charities: SWIFT (Supporting Women with HIV Information Network), Beyond Stigma, which is dedicated to advancing the understanding and awareness of self-stigma for people living with HIV, and AMAZE, which focuses on supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.   

 

Panelists

Erik Agudelo, Founder, Play Learn Develop and Volunteer, MPower

My name is Erik (hi/him). I’m Venezuelan/Irish person. I’m the founder of Play Learn Develop and I’m also a vegetarian. Some of the toughest challenges I’m facing at the moment are getting funding to develop my research and learning Polish  

My research and products combine the use of Human Behaviour, tabletop games and Artificial Intelligence/Data Science. 

In order to walk the talk, back in 2019 I quit my corporate job as a Program Manager, and set up Play Learn Develop (PLD). Over the past 18 months to 2 years I’ve also participated in various HIV related events such as: The Living Project, How to Tell a Secret and the POZ Vibe PodCast. I also volunteer with MPower. 

 

Michael Gaffey, Director General, Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), DFAD 

Michael Gaffey has been the Director General, Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), DCAD since August 2022. Before his appointment to DCAD, he was the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva, following terms as Director General for Development, Middle East Director, Director for the Western Balkans and South East Europe. His previous postings with the Department of Foreign Affairs were in Tokyo, London, Cairo, Amman, Baghdad, Belfast and Chicago.

 

Robbie Lawlor, Activist, Co-founder Access to Medicines Ireland

Robbie became active within the HIV community since his diagnosis in 2012. Robbie is a member of the European AIDS Treatment Group and is a co-founder of Access to Medicines Ireland. Robbie is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Dublin City University and has a particular interest in grassroots activism and the access to medicines movement in Eastern Europe. His research is exploring HIV/HEP C treatment activism in Ukraine.   

 

Moderator

Dil Wickremasinghe (She/They), Broadcaster, Journalist, Activist 

Dil (pronouns: she/they) is an IACP pre-accredited Psychotherapist and Counsellor. Dil works with individuals online and face to face, nationally and internationally and has a special interest in intersectionality, gender and sexual diversities. She works with those identifying as LGBTQI+, and those in same-sex and non-traditional relationships. She works with adults and practices in accordance with the guidelines and Code of Ethics of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) 

Dil has had a longstanding passion and interest in social justice and mental health. Since her arrival in Ireland she has been an activist, campaigner, journalist and broadcaster. Dil’s interest in mental health began when she experienced mental health difficulties in 2006 and reached out for support. She experienced first-hand how the services in Ireland lacked awareness in the importance of creating an inclusive therapeutic space. 

As a response to the lack of service Dil founded Insight Matters in 2011 with Anne Marie Toole, with the view to provide inclusive, accessible and affordable mental health support. 

In addition to working in media and mental health, Dil has also worked in Human Resources and to date still enjoys being a D & I workplace trainer and public speaker. 

In 2014 Dil was honoured with the Frederick Douglas Award as part of the Lord Mayor’s Awards for my outstanding contribution to Dublin civic life. 

In 2015 along with 9 other inspiring women Dil was given the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award for their work as a Marriage Equality campaigner. 

From 2007 to 2017 Dil presented the award-winning weekly radio programme called Global Village on Newstalk 106-108FM, every Saturday evening from 7-9pm which regularly discussed issues related to social justice, mental health and personal well-being. 

 

About Professor Father Michael J Kelly

For over 50 years, Tullamore-born Professor Father Michael J. Kelly had worked tirelessly in the fight against HIV/AIDS in his naturalised country of Zambia, and internationally, spreading the message of strength, dignity, and hope for those affected and at risk.

In Memoriam: Professor Father Michael J. Kelly, 1929 – 2021

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