At the Grand Finale of the Y+ beauty pageant; the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) crowned Oscar Otim and Aol Gladys as the 2020/21 Mr. and Miss Y+; as the new top ambassadors against HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination in Uganda at Kampala Serena Hotel and the narrative for young people living with HIV/AIDS continues to be changed!!
These were chosen after over two months of activity that started with a launch on 25th September and continued to the
regional auditions that were carried out through the month of October traversing four regions of the country; Central in
Kampala, Eastern in Kamuli, Northern in Kwania, and Western in Kabale with a total of 171 contestants from all the
regions; only 18 were selected for the finale. This was followed by a 6 days’ boot camp at Banana Village, Entebbe; where
a series of capacity strengthening initiatives/ activities were designed which saw the 18 young people being trained and
mentored to be ambassadors of change against HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination.

The just concluded Grand finale was graced with the presence of special guests including the Guest of Honor; Her
Excellence; Natalie Brown, Ambassador of the USA to Uganda, on her first public appearance since her appointment to
Uganda, she mentioned that, ‘I am excited to be here, I can’t think of a better way to begin my term in a beautiful country than by taking part in an activity designed and implemented by young people committed to changing their lives, the lives of their peers and to changing how society views those living with HIV; the theme ‘changing the narrative is so very appropriate! When I asked my colleagues about this event, they lit up when describing what an amazing celebration this is and its relevance in showcasing the talent,
creativity, and commitment of Uganda’s youth and the critical role this majority of the population plays in not just shaping the
future but what happens today!!”, H.E Natalie E Brown, US Ambassador to Uganda.

The Grand Finale event also hosted a number of special Guests just to mention but a few; the Country Director of CDC; Dr.
Lisa Nelson, the Country Representative for UN Women; Dr. Maxime Houinato, the Country Director UNAIDS; Dr. Karusa
Kiragu, The chairperson of the UCCM; Dr. Maggie Kigozi, Rosemary Mwesigwa Kindyomunda, National Programme
Specialist-UNFPA, Mr. Mondo Kyateka- Commissioner for youth and children, Ministry of Gender, representatives from
Ministry of Health, Education and Sports, National Coordinator, SRHR Alliance; Mr. Charles Owekmeno, Ms. Elizabeth
Mushabe, Primrose Kibirigi- UN Women, Dr. Dan Byamukama- Uganda AIDS Commission, Ms. Brenda Nanyonga-
CORDAID, Ms. Tezera Lutaaya, Mrs. Alesi Jacqueline Ssozi, UNYPA board members under the leadership of Mr. Paddy
Masembe, Y+ ambassadors and many other key dignitaries present; we thank all of our guests for the invaluable time
spent with us.

The finale event was presided over by a panel of five judges including Quiin Abenakyo; Miss Uganda 2018, Miss World
2018 and Executive Director; Quiin Abenakyo Foundation, Natasha Sinayobye; an actress, business entrepreneur, model,
show host with 19 years in the fashion and entertainment scene, Nyanzi Huzairu; founder, Batabazi cultural group and Mr.
Y+ 2017/18, Lillian Mworeko; Executive Director, International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS in East Africa
(ICWEA) and Musah Lumumba; team leader at the East and Southern Youth Alliance on SRHR and HIV
Speaking to participants, our team leader Nicholas Niwagaba mentioned, “I am very grateful for what is happening today. I
thank you all for continuing to walk this journey with us as we create a safe environment for YPLHIV in Uganda, In 2014 we
only had 10 contestants, seven years down the road, we have over 1,051 ambassadors around the country, it means that
we are breaking the chains of HIV stigma and discrimination in Uganda”

Special awards were also presented to Y+ ambassadors who have worked much exceedingly in their communities to
ensure that fellow young people access and utilize SRHR- HIV information and services including Taliba Zainab- Grassroot
advocate of the year, Esther Kabashambo- Outstanding ambassador of the year, Ruth Akullu- media advocate of the year
and Sharon Amongi- peer mentor of the year 2 The event was graced by faces from the entertainment and fashion industry including the amazing hosts; Deedan and Ronnie McVex; media personalities, Joram Model Management, Fenon records, Fezaabu Hair and Make-up shop, Compassion Dance crew, Abryans, Tric Media, fashion houses; Jo Kisaka, Hakeem Lusimbo, Bantu X, Raphael, Ganyana Fashion House, Dominus Apparell, Judith Heard, with special performances from Spice Diana, Lillian and The
The Y+ pageant was sponsored by; the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women, AIDSFONDS, the Spotlight Initiative, UNFPA,
UNAIDS, SRHR Alliance, Right Here, Right Now. A special thank you to our partners; Ministry of Health, Kampala Serena
hotel, NAFOPHANU, AIDS Information Centre, Abryans Collection, Joram Model Management, Fenon Records, Next
Media, Reproductive Health Uganda, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, Kamuli General Hospital, Alive Medical Services
and Aduku health center 4 “We are very grateful to all our sponsors who have supported us through this difficult period even amidst the fears of the Coronavirus and the ongoing political unrest; without their support and guidance, the Y+ Beauty pageant wouldn’t have taken place this year. We are also very happy to add this to one of our achievements this year,” Olgah Namukuza, the
Head of Programs at UNYPA said.

The award winning Y+ beauty pageant has for the past 7 years made it to the SRHR- HIV calendar as a nationally and internationally recognized initiative creating a platform for young men and women living with HIV aged 16 to 25 to become voices to the voiceless, pillars of boldness and strength to those still afraid of HIV testing through sharing testimonies of
assurance that one can live a healthy and productive life even when they are HIV+. We continue to re-affirm that the Y+
pageant isn’t about beauty or looks but about the ability to change the lives of others through their fellow peers. Our new
ambassadors join the formidable force of 1,015 Y+ ambassadors working in their communities to challenge HIV/AIDS
related stigma and discrimination and end HIV by 2030.
More videos and links to the 2020 Y+ beauty pageant campaign for your reference and enjoyment,

Stigma And Discrimination

One Comment

    • August 29, 2022 at 16:46 pm

    Well done for service rendered. Great one I wish I can be one Miss Y+ 2022/2023


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