Aphelele Gumede

 

Aphelele Gumede

Aphelele Gumede is currently working as project manager for her organization Hope4all . She was born in a small town in KZN, Mtubatuba on the 4 th of February 1989. She currently awaiting her M.Tech degree in Homoeopathy from the Durban University of Technology.

During the course of her educational years, she has had a fascination with HIV, hence she volunteered in a NGO called Centre of Hope as a peer educator and counsellor. Her passion for the subject led her to working for Medical scheme companies as a wellness advisor and later team leader, where the focus was on HIV, diabetes, cholesterol and BP. The job entailed facilitating wellness days and testing and counselling of medical and non medical aid members around the health topics. With a background in health and supplementation, she was also involved in nutritional advice and supplementation guidance for members. This is where her love of health education grew, and the realization of a more holistic approach in dealing with various health issues. From a young age, she has always excelled in her work and has showed leadership qualities. She was a prefect in primary school and received many award, the best one been most obliging student. In her high school life, she became part of the student representative counsil, also head prefect. During her high school life she has also showed excellent academic results being student of the year from grade 8 to 12.

In January 2013 she started a toddler bible class in her church which focused not only on spiritual matters, but also all the social ill that occurred in her community. Using drama, visual effect and story telling, she was able to teach these 2-6 year old about issues such as HIV, Sexual reproductive Health Rights, Gender Based Violence and substance abuse. In January 2014 she moved to a small town in KZN called Melmoth were she was a co-pastor. There she was involved in a lot of youth development classes, where the focus was mainly on building self confidence especially after seeing the high pregnancy rate of young females in the area. Although her stay was short she was able to see a shift in the attitude of the young ladies which resulted in many going back to school and other finding work and not relying on the males and giving them their power to negotiate.

In the years 2016, whilst completing her clinical trial for management of post traumatic stress disorder, where mainly the focus was rape and Gender based violence, she had the opportunity to be a part of Young African Leaders Initiative programme and has since become an Alumni. In the year 2017 she was among 10 you have people who were chosen to take part in the MSALEADS fellowship program in the country also became a part another network of young people who are passionate about driving change in their community, called Activate. Through activate, she was able to interact with more young people who had similar goals in changing their communities. It is here where her underlying desire for advocating for women and children came into light. She became secretary of the Ethekwini youth sector, acting chairperson for young women sector and coopted to be a part of the Provincial and National Aids Counsil as a civil society women sector leader.

Aphelele is currently a Country Coordinator for international youth alliance for family planning, an international organization that focuses on sexual and reproductive health rights. She is also the co-founder of a non profit organization called Hope 4 All, that advocates for the empowerment of all that have been previously disadvantaged, namely children ( through ECD initiatives) , women ( SRHR and GBV), disabled and the LGBTI family, her focus being on health education mainly HIV, having a more holistic approach in the prevention and management of the virus. She was managing a health shop where she dealt with health related issues and supplement for various diseases and fitness. Now her focus has shifted back to her area of birth, Mtubatuba where she is currently advocating for GBV and SRHR through dialogues, empowerment classes as well health education to the community and youth of Mtubatuba.

She has recently received an award for the Kwazulu Natal Young Achiever Award for 2017, for the good work she has been doing in the rural areas. She has had the privilege of sitting on International women conferences, called women now that took place earlier this year in Amsterdam as a panelist at family planning talk and as an expert in youth women issues, especially gender based violence. She a therapist, activist, healer and speaker in various platforms where speak for women. She has been featured in Jet magazine as well as Her grit magazine for story of how she overcame an abusive relationship and used her trials to help others.