Key Milestones

1992 An idea is conceived

  • Winnie Chikafumbwa who was working in the government as Secretary to PS learnt about her status in this year
  • Winnie’s sister a nurse linked her to International Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW). In the same year the ICW organized a workshop on Women living with HIV and AIDS in Netherlands. Winnie was invited to attend. After attending ICW workshop in Netherlands Winnie decided to come out and go public with her HIV status.
  • Late Winnie Chikafumbwa conceived the idea of establishing an organization of PLHIV after attending the ICW conference in the Netherlands. Through health workers she linked up with other PLHIV
1993 Founders first meeting

  • Their first meeting was conducted on 21st August 1993 Meeting face to face with other PLHIV was great relief to each one of them because living with HIV that time was like carrying a death sentence. This is the day that Winnie shared her story with others on what she learnt in Netherlands and shared her idea of starting an organization of PLHIV. The other three agreed to Winnie’s idea and started a group of PLHIV.
  • Thus the four founders of NAPHAM are Winnie Chikafumbwa (RIP), Jane Paranjeta (RIP), Tereza Kampeni (RIP) and Dickens Kolondo who is the only surviving founding member and is currently working as NAPHAM’s Assistant Programmes Manager.
  • Soon after their first meeting the four people mobilized other people to join them and these were; Dorothy Mluwaza (A), Mrs. Munthali, Christopher Chisendera (A) and Enock Mmbanga(A)

The early days

  • A UNDP Diplomat from Ghana became interested in the objectives of the group and offered his house in area 10 to be a meeting place for the group. After a few months the diplomat left for his home in Ghana
  • Under a Mango tree at Bwaila Hospital
  • The support group negotiated with Bottom Hospital administration now (Bwaila Hospital) for a meeting place within the hospital premises. The space offered to them was a Mango tree, so the group started meeting under a mango tree at Bottom HospitaMembers were not happy to be meeting under a mango tree as it was not conducive for support group meetings.
  • After few months the group moved to Lilongwe AIDS Counseling and Education Center (LACE) offices in Mipondo Building near Liyati Filling Station. LACE was charging the room at MK 900 a month. The group agreed to make contributions towards rentals. After some time members failed to raise rental money and so they could not continue meeting at this place. Therefore Winnie offered her home in Area 15 to sustain the group meetings. The group grew bigger and bigger each day.
  • In October 1995, Stitching AIDS Fonds provided funds for the establishment of NAPHAM office Lilongwe with 3 salaried staff. National Coordinator-Winnie Chikafumbwa (RIP) Programme Administrator Dickens Kolondo(A) and Office Assistant –Christopher Chisendera (A)
  • In the same year Action Aid International provided funding to enable NAPHAM members from Lilongwe to go out to other districts to conduct sensitization campaigns on HIV and AIDS with the aim of mobilizing PLIHV in the districts to form support groups. The members were deployed to go to districts across the country.
  • Regardless of stigma and discrimination faced by members, outcome of those sensitization campaigns was the formation of support groups in Blantyre Kasungu, , Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhatabay, Mzimba, Phalombe, Thyolo and Chiradzulu .
  • In the same year NAPHAM was declared as a national organization of PLHIV and managed by PLHIV.
  • The first ever National PLHIV Conference in Malawi was held at Natural Resources College in Lilongwe. The conference was funded by National AIDS Control Program and Action Aid International. Over 100 persons living with HIV from all over the country participated in this conference.
  • Three more staff members were recruited with funding from Southern AIDS Trust which was based in Zimbabwe. Staff recruited were a nurse, a receptionist and a counsellor to assist in offering care and support to PLHIV.
  • USAID through JSI Stafh Project funded a prevention project focusing on HIV education in the community, schools and churches
  • NAPHAM organized the second PLHIV National Conference that was held at Capital City Motel in Lilongwe.
The birth of NAPHAM

The founders realized the need to name their group. In one of the meetings names for the organization were proposed, such as:

  1. Association of people with HIV/AIDS (APHA)
  2. National Association of people living with HIV/ADS (NAPHA)
  3.  National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi (NAPHAM)

The founders had a dream for the organization to spread across the country. Therefore agreed to name the organization National Association of People living with HIV /Aids in Malawi. But, it took some time for the name to change to NAPHAM as the organisation was waiting for government approval to include MALAWI in the organisations name. This was granted and lo, NAPHAM was born.The only asset NAPHAM had was a bicycle they received from the then National AIDS Control Programme.

1995 The Growth of NAPHAM
At this time there were several organisations in the PLHIV sector but they lacked focus and direction. It was therefore at this conference that people discussed the agenda of establishing an umbrella organisation for the sector. Hence Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MANET+) was born and NAPHAM members formed the MANET+ Executive Committee.

  • Death of the founder: 25th October 1997 Mother and Founder of NAPHAM died and buried on 27th October 1997, may her soul rest in peace. Winnie died without accessing the free Anti retro viral therapies which she had advocated for.
  • NAPHAM established regional offices in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre and recruited regional staff with funding from USAID Umoyo network
  • NAPHAM attained its NGO status after registration in this year. NAPHAM’s main goal was to promote positive living among persons living with HIV and AIDS and promote quality care and support for the infected and directly affected.
  • District offices established in Kasungu, Lilongwe, Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhatabay, Mzimba, Phalombe, Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Blantyre. With funding from NAC.
  • Umoyo Network purchased two vehicles BM 8401 and BM 8904 and funding for institutional development and capacity building.
  • In a drive to promote professionalism in the organization, NAPHAM changed from being an Association of People living with HIV/AIDS to an Association for People living with in HIV/AIDS to make it inclusive and be able to recruit officers based on professionalism.
  • NAPHAM’s membership was estimated at 10,000 as of 2006.
  • NAPHAM established 5 more district offices with funding from USAID through PACT- Malawi REACH Project. The districts were Salima, Machinga, Dedza, Rumphi and Nsanje. NAPHAM was present in 15 districts by first quarter of 2008.
  • By the end of 2008 NAPHAM membership was estimated at 20,000
  • NAPHAM clocked 17 years and Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda launched the NAPHAM week in her capacity then as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
  • In July NAC provided a grant to NAPHAM to establish new district offices
  • In December of this year, with funding from NAC, NAPHAM established 13 more offices in Chikwawa, Mwanza, Neno, Zomba, Balaka, Ntcheu, Mchinji, Mulanje, Ntchisi, Dowa, Likoma, Nkhatabay and Nkhotakota
  • By December this year membership was at 32,000
  • Membership grew to 63,000
  • Government recognized NAPHAM’s contribution to the HIV and AIDS National response by honoring Winnie Chikafumbwa, posthumously, through the national award event called Our People our Pride which was presided over by the former President of the Republic of Malawi, Late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.
    Membership at 80,243
  • NAPHAM is operational in all districts in the country with a membership of 83,465 (27,686 males and 55,779 females)
  • NAPHAM clocked 20 years and organized the anniversary celebrations across the country under the theme “Serving and Saving Lives”. The national celebrations took place on 24th October 2013 in Lilongwe at Mbalang’ombe in Senior Chief Chimutu. The Guest of Honour was the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, the Right Honourable Khumbo Hastings Kachali. The districts celebrations took place thereafter where NAPHAM members made several donations to the sick in hospitals and to the prisoners.