Michaela Clayton is the Director of the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), a regional partnership of civil society organisations working together to promote a human rights based response to HIV/AIDS and TB in Southern Africa. Ms Clayton is a human rights lawyer who has worked on HIV/AIDS and human rights issues in Namibia, and subsequently regionally and internationally since 1989. She was one of the founding lawyers of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) in Namibia, where she established the AIDS Law Unit to provide a legal service to people living with HIV and AIDS. Whilst at the LAC, Michaela assisted in the drafting of the majority of Namibian sectoral HIV policies as well as in the drafting of the Namibian National HIV/AIDS Policy. She was also counsel in successful impact litigation on HIV, including the case brought against the Namibian Defence Force on exclusion of HIV+ recruits from the NDF. In 2002 she initiated the establishment of ARASA as a project of the LAC, which has subsequently grown into an independent NGO with partners in all of the SADC countries.
Michaela participated in the revision of the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (2002) and in the drafting of the ILO Guidelines on Using the ILO Code of Practice and Training Manual for Labour Judges and Magistrates (2005) as well as the UNAIDS, UNHCHCR Handbook on HIV and Human Rights for National Human Rights Institutions (2007). She has been a member of a number of UNAIDS expert consultations on HIV and human rights related issues and has consulted for UNAIDS, UNHCHCR and the ILO.
Michaela serves on several regional advisory bodies including the SADC Technical Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS. She is also a member of the International Advisory Group on Universal Access and co-chair of the UNAIDS Reference Group on Human Rights. She was the recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Watch and Canadian AIDS Legal Network International Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights.
Michaela holds a BA LLB (1985) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Felicita Hikuam is a human rights activist with a keen interest in addressing structural and other challenges that prevent women and girls from realising their rights. Felicita has a background in health and development communication and has worked at national, regional and international levels in HIV, human rights and health, and development policy and advocacy for the past 9 years.
From March 2002 to the end of 2003, she managed Desert Soul, a health and development communication project hosted by the Namibian Red Cross Society. Subsequently, she co-ordinated a global campaign on stigma and discrimination entitled ‘The Truth About AIDS. Pass it On...’ as part of the UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for Stigma Reduction (together with the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS) for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based at the Secretariat in Geneva.
From 2007 to 2008, in the position of Global Programmes Manager for the World AIDS Campaign, she facilitated the successful set-up of the Africa regional Programme to support advocacy campaigners in the global South and spear-headed the implementation of an advocacy campaigning programme in three African countries and the sub-regions of east, west and southern Africa.
For two years, from 2010 to 2011, Felicita served as the African NGO delegate on the NGO delegation to the UNAIDS Coordinating Board.
Felicita has been with ARASA since 2008 as Programmes Manager and ensures cohesion between ARASA’s goals and objectives and its programme design, implementation and evaluation. She works in complementary fashion with the director to effectively lead and manage the programmes through the provision of overall technical, managerial guidance and leadership to programme co-ordinators and staff. In 2012, Felicita was appointed as ARASA’s Deputy Director
Lynette Mabote is the Regional Programmes Lead at ARASA. She holds an LLB degree from Rhodes University and a post graduate diploma in Advanced Labour Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. She also holds a certificate in Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines from the University of Kwazulu Natal. Lynette has worked on numerous projects and programmes in public health. She currently represents ARASA at the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR); is instrumental at SADC level processes as well as at international fora. Lynette has extensive experience in TB/HIV, public health and funding policy issues within Southern Africa and broader sub-Saharan Africa.
Hertha Nekwaya Joined Arasa on 14 April 2015 as the Finance and Administration Officer. She holds a degree in Accounting and Finance from the Polytechnic of Namibia. Hertha worked as a Financial Assistant at Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Senior Bookkeeper at Kayec Trust, and as an Accounts Supervisor at O & L Leisure. She is currently studying towards her Masters degree in Business Administration.
He-Jin Kim is the Regional LGBTI Programme Officer at ARASA. She joined the team on 01 July 2014. He-Jin is a transgender woman who has worked in Europe and Asia on sexual and reproductive health and rights, sex worker rights, and transgender issues, before moving to South Africa in 2008. During her time in Europe, she worked at the International Gay and Lesbian Information Centre and Archive, the Prostitution Information Centre in Amsterdam, and the European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights. After moving to South Korea in 2007, she spent time working on several projects with the Korean Transgender Activist Group, and was involved with the Sex Worker team at the Centre for Women's Culture and Theory. He-Jin also worked as an intern at the AIDS Legal Network, and then joined Gender DynamiX as a fundraiser until March 2014.
Maggie Amweelo is the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at ARASA, a role she resumed in May 2011. She joined ARASA in 2008 as an Executive Assistant to the Director and also served as ARASA’s Office Coordinator from 2009 before moving into her current position. Maggie has 13 years of work experience with local NGOs (Catholic AIDS Action and the Legal Assistance Centre) in Namibia as well as the education sector (Polytechnic of Namibia). Maggie holds a B-Tech Degree in Business Administration with the University of South Africa (UNISA) and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Polytechnic of Namibia (2004). Maggie also has a Pitman Diploma in Secretarial and Administration from the Valombola Vocational Training centre (2000).
Lisias Mbwiti Mashuna, works as the ARASA Office Assistant and has been with the organisation since February 2006. He holds a Certificate Programme in Law from Unisa and has obtained his Paralegal Diploma in 2013. He is currently completing his LLB at the University of Namibia.
Selma Kamati joined ARASA on 18 May 2015 as the Finance Manager. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Namibia and is a member of the Southern Africa Institute of Business Accountants. She joins ARASA from the Namibia Statistics Agency where she held the position of Financial Accountant for three years. She has previously worked as a Project Accountant at the National Planning Commission as well as an Accounts Assistant at the Electoral Commission of Namibia.