Voice of Our Voices was formed in 2017 by 56 sex workers who come from the four regions of Eswatini, who had faced challenges including access to health services, human rights violation from members of the public, clients and uniform forces also the violence that comes from the sex workers among themselves.
The “supergroup” which gave birth to VOOV was a task team for sex workers that worked with the Ministry of Health in addressing the health needs of sex workers. At the supergroup, each hotspot (four geographic focus areas) was represented by two sex workers from all the four regions of the country. The supergroup met monthly to discuss issues of sex workers from different hotspots. This platform was also used for capacity building for the sex workers on topics that were chosen by them. The supergroup meetings started in 2014 and were hosted by the Ministry of Health Swaziland National Aids Program, HC3, and later FHI360. The birth of VOOV was formulated and crafted in these meetings. FHI360 and Pact played a pivotal role, by providing the venue, meals, transport, and technical support for the meetings together to influence change in their work spaces through supporting each other whenever challenges come up.
Our priority areas are to advocate for social change and the protection of sex workers, linking sex workers with service providers, distribution of health commodities to sex workers and improving their standard of living and sustainability through Economic strengthening.
VOOV is currently Implementing the KPIF and , Triple -R projects. VOOV has been supported with office space at Mbandzeni Office Number 63 in the Mbabane City in Eswatini. VOOV is a member of ASWA and NSWP, and the organization conducts national activities, funded through ASWA and NSWP after Eswatini VOOV participants graduated in the SWAA (Sex Workers Academy Africa).
VOOV serves the sex workers through ensuring that their voices are heard, involved in any decision making, give the capacity building through empowering them knowing their rights, support them during hard times, Link them with service providers, we are their ambassadors in different forums where we advocate for policy reform.
Voice of our Voices is a unique organization founded by sex workers and implements sex worker’s programs for the community members. Its distinct is that sex workers are having a full vote in decision making. All programs are designed with meaningful engagement of sex workers and we have qualified staff that serve sex workers in a dignify way observing all human rights protocols.
VOOV has twenty-five staff, fourteen for KPIF and eleven for Triple R. All staff are hired full time. VOOV has a board of Directors where the ED reports.
Yes, I do political advocacy. Law reform, ensuring that sex workers meet with national and key influential people to voice out their views while enjoying freedom of speech.
We have some challenges with data storage as an organization
We wish to give capacity to all sex workers in using IT, increase and secure their livelihoods and community empowerment but we are inadequately resourced.
We want to serve VOOV beneficiaries, have an office apartment that we won’t rent. We want to empower sex workers on different skills of making a living without oppression (economic strengthening that can enhance the sex workers to be independent. VOOV will serve all beneficiaries without any discrimination.
VOOV wishes to grow the movement,. VOOV want their beneficiaries to build a long-standing response to the community. For people outside, we plead that they should know sex workers are humans like everyone, so they should stop discriminating, talking hate speeches about sex workers.