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As we come to the end of an extraordinary year, we set our sights on new hopeful horizons: launching our next Strategic Plan and recruiting a new Co-Lead for Urgent Action Fund Asia and Pacific (UAF A&P).
The year 2020 marked three years since the birth of UAF A&P. We decided it was timely to undertake a reflective review on how we have progressed in implementing our mission with our community and networks, moving much needed resources to women and non-binary human rights defenders across borders, and issues in our region of the world. The process was an insightful virtual coming together of our community of grantees, partners and advisors as well as our Staff and Board, mindful of where we started it all and where we still want to go. We know for sure that, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing human rights crackdowns, we persevered.
We look forward to sharing the outcome of our reflections in a new Strategic Plan, in early 2021, that will outline our next pathways to co-creating better conditions for women and non-binary defenders to survive, thrive and regenerate.
In addition to our strategic planning, 2020 also marked a pivotal point in our organisation’s journey as Mary Jane Real announced her decision to resign as Co-Lead. After being a part of our founding process, and then taking up the executive leadership with Virisila, Jane has been key to ensuring that our young organisation is both relevant and responsive to the resilience of activists and defenders around the region. We respect and support Jane’s decision to step down so she can care for her ailing mother. While we are sad to see her leave, we are proud of Jane’s legacy in shaping UAF A&P’s grounding and standing in these early years. Beginning this January, Virisila Buadromo will be leading the Fund until we recruit a new Co-Lead. From January to June 2021, Jane will support UAF A&P’s work on a contractor basis.
The UAF A&P Board has set up a Leadership Transition Team to coordinate the recruitment and selection of our new Co-Lead for Programmes and Innovation. From among our Board, Devi Leiper O’Malley will serve as the point person in charge of recruitment, and she will be supported by Roshmi Goswami and Mayan Villalba.
Please stay tuned. We plan to announce the call for applications in January 2021.
We would appreciate your support during this time of organizational change. Please spread the word and connect us to strong feminist leaders with the vision and drive to co-create new opportunities, re-define resource mobilizing and facilitate access to platforms and grants for all women and non-binary defenders across Asia and the Pacific.
UAF A&P Regional Board Chair