Nicola Willis

Zvandiri Africaid

Big Idea: HIV peer counselling for young people in Zimbabwe.

There are still millions of young people living with HIV across Africa. In Zimbabwe, Zvandiri Africaid finds kids and youth with HIV and connects them to the right treatment and ongoing care. HIV-positive kids are paired with peer counsellors that guide them all the way through the journey to stable health. Zvandiri supports and connects the mentors to an on-site community and digital training. They’ve got rigorous evidence that shows increases in viral suppression and reduction in common mental conditions among the thousands of adolescents they’ve worked with so far. And eight other countries have already adopted the Zvandiri model to help young people manage and cope with HIV.  

Nicola trained as a paediatric HIV specialist nurse in the UK before working in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, assisting with the establishment of paediatric HIV treatment and support services. She’s also a member of the World Health Organisation’s HIV Guidelines Development Group and co-Chair of WHO’s adolescent service delivery working group. She is the mom of three fabulous kids.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows