Martin is a strong, resilient and powerful young man who has been with Zvandiri since 2009. Holding various roles throughout the years, he has been a sought-after trainer, a mentor to peers and colleagues and now supports 1,670 children, adolescent and young people living with HIV in five facilities in a district south-west of Harare. He was instrumental in bringing Zvandiri to Matabeleland North province and expanding its reach in Bulawayo. He successfully engaged the city of Bulawayo and Mpilo Central Hospital and enabled Zvandiri to become visible and accessible to young people in need of HIV services in the province.
However, this would have been impossible to imagine in 2006 when the visibly ill Martin was introduced to Zvandiri as a beneficiary. Martin had a challenging journey full of illness, loss and stigma. Joining Zvandiri created a safe space for Martin which provided the enabling environment for him to thrive. In 2009 Martin was in the Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS) pilot group, playing a key role in demonstrating the power and potential of peer-to-peer support. Being a CATS provided Martin with a chance to open up and use his experiences to support children, adolescents and young people living with HIV in Harare. Zvandiri’s approach of engaging and mentoring peers prepared Martin to assume bigger roles as a full-time member of staff within Zvandiri. He is now happily married and has two HIV negative daughters.