'Family photo' from the Our Views Our Voices training of people living with NCDs, ahead of the 71st World Health Assembly.
'Family photo' from the Our Views Our Voices training of people living with NCDs, ahead of the 71st World Health Assembly. © Gilberto Lontro

Unleashing the power of #NCDVoices: Building a public narrative on NCDs

09th June 2018

On 17-18 May, 19 people from 13 countries living with NCDs came together in Geneva to attend the Our Views, Our Voices 2018 training workshop.

With the aim to create effective NCD spokespersons and advocates, the workshop was designed to offer a safe space for those with lived experience (including care partner perspectives), to build a powerful public narrative on how these diseases affect people and why urgent action is needed.

"Our stories are not unique to us. We are not patients, we are Impatient for action on NCDs." – Bruno Helman, workshop participant from Brazil

The two-day workshop aimed to familiarize participants with the NCD global policy landscape, the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs (UN HLM) in New York on 27 Sept. and the advocacy opportunities therein. Group activities and personal reflections aimed to hone participants’ communication and advocacy skills to harness the power of their lived experiences to build an impactful public narrative on NCDs and mobilise their communities to call for change.

Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs

Discussions also served to formulate a menu of actions to advance NCDA’s Advocacy Agenda of People living with NCDs at all levels and prepare for the UN HLM. The workshop explored the concept and mechanisms of meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) and tools to support them as Voices of Change for NCD prevention and control.

“We are not statistics, we are human beings with suffering. We must disrupt the existing narrative. NCDs are about human rights” – Kwanele Asante-Shongwe, South Africa (Member of the 2018 Our Views, Our Voices Global Advisory Committee)

Some workshop participants also had opportunities to present their powerful and impassioned stories and calls for action at various events on the margins of the 71st World Health Assembly. These strongly demonstrated the significance and centrality of the lived experience in tackling NCDs.

NCDA is grateful to all the workshop participants for injecting their passion and creativity into the training sessions and generously sharing their personal experiences.

The Our Views, Our Voices initiative is committed to ensuring the meaningful involvement of PLWNCDs in the NCD response and amplifying individual experiences to strengthen the global narrative for change. It is represented online by the hashtag #NCDvoices.