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Violet Banda

Malawian children's rights activist and reporter

Sub-Saharan Africa

Violet Banda is a reporter and children’s rights activist from Malawi. Banda was born with HIV and lost both parents to the virus. HIV/AIDS is Malawi’s leading cause of death and has left more than half a million Malawian children orphaned. Banda first openly spoke of being HIV-positive when she was interviewed on Radio Timveni, a popular radio news program. After the interview, she began working as a youth reporter for the program to uncover cases of violence against children. The radio program draws attention to children’s rights by letting young people tell their own stories. Speaking anonymously, they expose accounts of rape, abuse, and forced child marriages. She is the youngest speaker to participate in the Oslo Freedom Forum. Banda is currently board chair for the National Association of Young People Living with HIV in Malawi and advocates for strong HIV/AIDS education and awareness programs for Malawians, including sex workers and adolescents.

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