Who we are
Meet the team! Y+ is made up of staff members who are guided by the Y+ Board and members of the Advisory Board.
The role of the Y+ Board is to guide the development of the Y+ network; determine programmatic priorities; make decisions through a transparent process; ensure different communities of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) from all regions are represented in Y+ decision-making; and strengthen the leadership of YPLHIV from community to the global level.
The Y+ Board is composed of young people under the age of 30 living with HIV from 8 regions.
- West and Central Africa
- East and South Africa
- Asia Pacific Region
- Latin America and Caribbean Region
- West and Central Europe
- North America Region
- Middle East and North Africa Region
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The Board’s mandate includes, but is not limited to:
- Make decisions on behalf of the Y+ network
- Provide strategic guidance and oversight to the Y+ network
- Elect an Advisory Board Member to GNP+ on behalf of YPLHIV
- Recruit and provide guidance to the technical staff.
Daren Paul is a registered Nurse and Midwife in the Philippines. He finished his Master of Science in Public Health (MScPH) at Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At present, he is working with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC), a faith-based organization that works with 86 catholic dioceses in the Philippines and other bishops’ conferences all over the world. The commission works to promote the fullness of life for all and pastoral health care for the handicapped, elderly, oppressed, sick and dying. He is the nurse-program coordinator in one of the ministries of the commission, which is the Woodwater Center for Healing, a one-stop counseling center that caters to LGBTIQ including people living with HIV, providing medical and psychosocial support.
He joined Y+ Board of Directors last August 2018, representing the Asia and Pacific. He is also a member of different technical working groups on HIV programming in the Philippines.
He is also involved in different local and international organizations such as Catholic Asia Pacific Coalition on HIV and AIDS (CAPCHA), Caritas Internationalis, Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), Youth Voices Count, Being LGBTI in Asia – a UNDP Initiative and Dutch Alumni Network – nl4talents Nuffic.
Renatta Langlais is from the island of Dominica but currently lives in Barbados, where she is pursning a Msc degree in Gender and Developmental Studies at the University of the West Indies. She is a member of member of ICW Barbados, and a member of Life Goes on Dominica Inc., an NGO helpings families, both infected and affected, who are coping with HIV/AIDS. Currently she sits on the board of both CRN+ and Y+ as youth representative for the Caribbean region. She is a member of the PANCAP Regional Steering Committee for Youth Advocacy. She enjoys meeting new people, and hopes to learn from others with experience in the field of HIV/AIDS in order to bring the challenges of young women living with HIV to the forefront.
Darius Rucker or DJ
DJ is the oldest of five from a single parent household in which he was a first-generation college student.
Upon graduating college, he taught for two years in St. Louis public school as a Teach For America corps member while obtaining his Master’s degree in Secondary Education. After his second year of teaching, he realized that he wanted to have a bigger impact on the broader community, upon which he chose to begin his pathway to become an executive director of a non-profit.
Currently, he serves as the assistant to the executive director of Teach For America St. Louis. He is a Big Brother with Brothers Big Sisters, tutors and mentors his former students, and serves as a founding member and President of KORE-U. KORE-U stands for keeping ourselves Keeping Ourselves Respected and exceptionally Educated – United together. He joined the Board of Y+ in 2017, representing the North American region. DJ works constantly with the youth of today to make sure that they remain STI and HIV free!
Janet Tatenda Bhila
Janet is a 27-year-old young woman who graduated from the first cohort of the Young Women First programme in 2013.
She holds a BSc Honours degree in Psychology, and advocates for children, adolescents and young people (CAYP).
Janet was scouted by SAFAIDS and other partners to become an SRH champion for adolescents and young people. She has been able to represent CAYP in different forums nationally, regionally and internationally.
She is a public speaker, communicator, team player and stands for the justice and well-being of children and adolescents as well as young people. Janet is currently working as a mentor for community adolescent treatment supporters (CATS) at AFRICAID. Janet is currently also an ALL IN representative for adolescents under UNAIDS, and she also is a member of the Y+ Board.
Kosisochukwu is a graduate from the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering and currently a student of the Air Force Institute of Technology, Nigeria.
Kosisochukwu is a co-founder of the David Bongre Initiative which focuses on the Health of Young People, and is a Y+ Board Member representing West Africa.
He was a president of the Teenage Zone Youth Club of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research from 2009-2010.
Kosisochukwu was once an intern and currently a Youth Volunteer with the Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA) and has also represented PATA and received a Red Ribbon Award on their behalf at the International AIDS Conference, Durban 2016.
He is the Lagos State Coordinator for the Association of Positive Youth in Nigeria (APYIN) and a member of the Youth Participatory Platform (YPP) under United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Alongside these, he is also a Board Member of the Civil Society Health Watch in Nigeria.
Bakita is a British born Ugandan, living in London. She is a learning and development trainer and a poet.
She is studying an Anthropology and Community Development Masters in London. Bakita is also a keen traveller and loves any opportunity to see different places.
Bakita joined the Board of Y+ in 2017, representing the European region in addition to being a member of Positively UK’s women’s Steering Group.
Chinmay Modi is the Programme Assistant for Y+, a position funded by The Global Fund – Count Me In project. He is widely acclaimed for his attitude, hard work, determination and passion for working with the HIV positive community and young key populations.
Chinmay`s contributions range from representing adolescents and youth living with HIV; supporting, protecting and working for the people living with HIV community in Asia Pacific and across the globe; to being a ‘voice’ at many an international forum.
His honorary memberships include – Board Member of Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+); Country Focal Point Representative for India in Youth Lead Bangkok (an Asia-Pacific network); Board Member of National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India; member of Technical Advisory Group on HIV Self Testing Program – National AIDS Control Organization; and member of Working Group for the Revision of Training Curriculum for Nurses under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program.
Chinmay is a young person “born and living positively with HIV” and is a motivation and inspiration to “positive people – young and old”.
Cédric Nininahazwe is the Programme Manager for Y+. Before this, Cedric was the Executive Director of the Burundian Network of Young People Living with HIV (RNJ+) from 2014 till later in 2016.
In 2012, he produced a report on the challenges around care for young people living with HIV in Burundi, which was the country’s first document to inform issues of young people living with HIV.
In 2014, Cedric helped RNJ+ to open a youth friendly centre for young people, particularly for young key populations to access sexual and reproductive health services, thanks to which RNJ+ won the 2016 Red Ribbon Award. Cédric is also a qualified lawyer.