Salamander is very fortunate to have a wealth of expertise amongst our Associates.



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Salamander is very fortunate to have a wealth of expertise amongst our Associates

Set up in August 2009, Salamander Associates is an umbrella for highly experienced consultants providing services including research, writing and training on HIV, gender, sexual and reproductive rights and GIPA.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to learn about our current Associates.

We believe that working collectively brings enormous advantages to any consultancy project. Working through a team approach, we are able to tap into a wealth of different experiences, knowledge, skills and expertise. Our Associates and contacts have a wide international geographical and linguistic coverage. We are able to work in English, French and Spanish fluently.

Salamander Associates strongly support the principle of GIPA (Greater Involvement of People living with HIV and AIDS). We ensure that for each project, the team includes people living with HIV and HIV negative consultants, working together on an equal basis. We are also firmly committed to mentoring as a part of our work, and aim to include new activists and consultants wherever possible.

For further information, please contact us.



Tracking the effects of COVID-19
Advocacy Research

How COVID-19 is still affecting the lives of women living with HIV October 2022 New Report launch! Are the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women Living with HIV Still Confined by Covid-19? This report is an update from colleagues across East and Southern Africa about the SRHR issues still facing women living with HIV. […]


Other Services

In addition to providing external consultancy services, Salamander Associates also provide support to the Salamander Trust and associated projects. This includes:

  • Document searches,
  • Literature reviews,
  • Policy and research analysis,
  • Editing services.
  • And more!

Current Associates

EllenEllen Bajenja is our Salamander Trust Africa Coordinating Consultant.

Ellen is a seasoned professional in gender, youth and Right to Health programming. She is committed to working with communities to ensure that young people access appropriate youth-centred, gender-equitable and rights-based SRH and HIV and AIDS services.  Strong leadership in programme design, research, community participatory training and advocacy in these contexts summarise her 25 years of professional experience.

Ellen has a passion for working with young people to harness their inherent strengths, to challenge factors that perpetuate their poor sexual and reproductive health, susceptibility to acquiring HIV and vulnerability to the negative impacts of AIDS.

Ellen has spent the last five years promoting Right to Health programming at ACORD, a Pan-African organization working for social justice in Africa. The Right to Health  programming resulted in strengthening focus on young people’s sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment needs and desires.

Ellen holds a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and a Masters in Public Health; where she specialised in young people’s safe motherhood as well as taking several short courses in global health in gender and SRH.

Emma’s work has focused on women and HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights and violence against women and girls. Her experience includes research, evaluations, analysis, strategy development and general support for women’s and girls’ rights and meaningful involvement. She has also provided policy and technical advice to women’s rights organisations, bilateral and multilateral agency staff, academics and NGOs at international and country level in her role as consultant with Social Development Direct and communications and research officer for both BRIDGE (gender and development unit at the Institute of Development Studies)  and the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW).  She is now a freelance consultant and she lives in London with her son.

Sophie Dilmitis has almost two decades of pioneering grassroots work and top-level policy development focusing on women and young people in developing and developed countries.

Born in Zimbabwe, Sophie has been living with HIV for 24 years. She is a vocal advocate for policies and programmes that work for women in all their diversity and  programmes that integrate sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with HIV. Her expertise at all levels of AIDS policy-making and implementation in these areas adds considerably to her portfolio of experience.

In Harare, Sophie founded the Choose Life Trust, a youth-led organisation run by young people living with HIV, where she developed a comprehensive sexuality education and HIV awareness-training programme, implemented in 30 schools over a five-year period and reaching more than 7,000 young people. Her weekly newspaper column, “Factor Positive”, on issues related to HIV and published in the Harare Sunday Mirror, won the Auxillia Chimusoro Award for excellence in media reporting.

Sophie worked for the World YWCA for five years (2006 – 2011), developing and implementing their Global Strategy on SRHR and HIV. In 2007 she convened a leadership summit for women living with HIV, bringing together over 300 women living with HIV from across the globe. The training package on SRHR and HIV that she developed for the World YWCA Regional Training Institutes was implemented in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, the Caribbean and in Europe, reaching over 50 YWCA Member Associations.

Since 2012 Sophie has worked as a consultant – on a variety of projects with a substantial focus on the Global Fund’s response to gender. Sophie played a substantial role in supporting Women4GlobalFund (W4GF) which brings together women’s rights advocates, especially women living with HIV, and directly affected by TB and malaria — to advance gender equality through the Global Fund.  Sophie has been with W4GF since April 2015 and since September 2016 became the Global Coordinator.

Sophie was a member of the Conference Coordinating Committee for the 2008 and 2010 International AIDS Conferences, and was the European Regional Representative on the board of the International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW) from 2007-2009. In 2010, she was appointed to represent women living with HIV on the Technical Advisory Group for the Commission on HIV and the Law. In 2016, she stepped down from the International Steering Committee of the Robert Carr Fund for civil society networks, after serving two terms.

Sophie lives in Zimbabwe, with her son.

GillGill Gordon has over 40 years of experience in the development sector, and is a social development and health promotion specialist with particular expertise in gender, sexuality and community-based participatory approaches. She is currently working with The Salamander Trust and PASADA in Tanzania to develop an adaptation of Stepping Stones to support work with caregivers and children aged 5-14 years living with and/or affected by HIV. She worked with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance from 2003-2010 in HIV prevention and the integration of SRH and rights into HIV programming and policy. Her work focused on young people in and out of school, particularly in Southern and Eastern Africa and good practice in integrated programming. For example, she supported Marie Stopes International to measure their achievements in integrating HIV, sexual health and rights in their reproductive health programmes.

As a freelance consultant, Gill gained experience of using participatory methodologies, including visualisation and performing arts, for mobilising and supporting communities and groups at all stages of the project cycle. This supported them to analyse their local context and visualise their best futures and ways of reaching them, using personal, community and outside resources. Gill has been involved in the Stepping Stones programme from its inception, including training users, creating adaptations in Africa, Southern and SE Asia and monitoring and evaluation.  At the start of the HIV epidemic, Gill worked with International Planned Parenthood Federation, and contributed to establishing a broad sexual and reproductive health strategy which integrated HIV and AIDS and assisted Family Planning Associations to put this into action. Gill is the author/co-author of several popular books and learning materials including ‘Choices – a Guide for young people’.

My focus is on gender, health, HIV, violence against women, and rights. I’m particularly interested in work that supports and promotes meaningful involvement and participatory approaches. Recent work includes consultancies for Hivos, ICW Latina, THT, Sophia Forum, CARE and Comic Relief, carrying out research and analysis (literature reviews, surveys, interview-based research), policy and advocacy work, evaluation and assessment, report-writing and editing. Before going freelance in 2008, I had worked for ICW (the International Community of Women living with HIV and AIDS), and ActionAid’s Latin America and Caribbean regional programme. I am from the North East of England and live in London. I speak French (rustily) and Spanish.

SueHoldenSue lives in the North West of England with her partner and two children.  She has been working as an independent consultant for the past 13 years, mainly undertaking writing, training and evaluations with NGOs on mainstreaming HIV.  She is the author of publications on gender, alternative sexualities, and responding to HIV in workplaces and through development work (all available at Before becoming a consultant Sue worked for ActionAid in the UK and Uganda, and was Project Coordinator for the Stepping Stones training and adaptation project back in 1998.  She has a Masters Degree with High Distinction in Development Studies from the Flinders University of South Australia, and spends her spare time cycling, singing and playing saxophone.

Longret Kwardem is a Co-director of the 4M Mentor Mothers Network CIC and a Salamander Trust Associate. She is a peer researcher, public speaker and active community advocate who belongs to several networks including Making Waves, UK Community Advisory Board (UK–CAB) and Supporting Women with HIV Forum and Information (SWIFT). She is passionate about the value of peer support, peer research and the meaningful involvement of People living with HIV. She has a special interest in the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls living with HIV and the sustainable funding of grassroots women- only spaces.

Rebecca is a mentor, speaker and trainer who has long standing experience of working within various areas of the HIV sector. Rebecca is a member of the UK Community Advisory Board which she represents at the British HIV Association Steering Group Committee. She has been actively involved in producing a Patient Accessible Version of the BHIVA standards.  She is also an Associate at the Salamander Trust (4M Project), which aims to protect, promote and enhance the health and rights of people marginalised by societies worldwide as a result of their gender, HIV status or sexual and reproductive health issues and violence against women. Rebecca is passionate about these women’s issues and spends much of her time advocating and supporting other women through speaking engagements and delivering training workshops.

Rebecca has been living with HIV for the past 23 years.  She holds a BSc in Psychology and an MBA in Healthcare.

AngieJanuary 2022: We are delighted to announce that former Salamander Associate, Angelina Namiba has now agreed to become a Salamander Trust Trustee. You can read more about her here.

Luisa is a writer, storyteller and women’s rights advocate with 20 years’ policy, programming and advocacy experience in gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and gender-based violence (GBV) in the context of HIV. Deeply and consistently committed to building the leadership and meaningful participation of women in all of their diversity, her work focuses on advancing the rights of the most marginalized women, girls and gender non-conforming people, and supporting feminist organizing and movement building. She is experienced in strategy development and planning, policy analysis and advocacy, monitoring and evaluation (including developing and working with theory of change), and facilitating participatory action research. She has been involved in the development and dissemination of knowledge products including toolkits and guides, discussion papers, technical briefs and peer-reviewed publications to deepen the understanding and evidence base around HIV, GBV and SRHR linkages. 

Nell Osborne first worked as an intern for Stepping Stones in June 2011. However, she first came into contact with the Stepping Stones methodology whilst working with Plan Quito, on a voluntary basis, in Ecuador, in 2007. During her six months spent in Ecuador Nell volunteered with several charity organisations including the Casa “Maria Amor” in Cuenca, a refuge for abused women and their children. Nell attended the University of Birmingham to study English Literature and Cultural Studies. She graduated in 2010 with first class honours.  Since this time Nell has worked as a consultant with several NGOs, specialising in e-communications. She is currently working with Salamander Trust also in this capacity, in support of the Stepping Stones Community of Practice, the Stepping Stones website and the development of the new “Stepping Stones with Children” programme. Nell is fluent in Spanish and has a good working knowledge of French also.


LauraPulteneyLaura Pulteney is interning with the Salamander Trust helping to develop and implement the Stepping Stones communications strategy. In 2009 she worked in a Bureau d’Information Jeunnesse in Toulouse, an organisation whose aims are to improve social engagement and reduce exclusion of young people. She studied French and Spanish at Manchester University, which included a year abroad studying at the Université d’Avignon and Universidad de la Habana. After graduating she taught English at a Universidad Tecnológica in Mexico and at the Universidad de la Salle in Colombia. She has undertaken voluntary work in various capacities for Oxfam, Mind, Magic Carpet and Student Action for Refugees. In March 2016 she attended the East African training of trainers workshop for Stepping Stones with Children where she also picked up some very basic Ki-Swahili.

MariJo Vázquez is Spanish and has worked as a translator, proof-reader and editor.  She loves communicating so everyday tries to improve her language skills.

After her HIV diagnosis in 1996, she trained and worked in counselling and group facilitation. She began by working in support group settings, later focusing on local and international training in gender and sexual and reproductive health andrights. She has represented the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and HIV positive women at international level, including being a delegate to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.  During her time as Chair of ICW (2005-2008), her focus was very much on increasing consultation, communications and accountability within ICW and its governing body.

Marijo has worked with Salamander Trust on several consultancies since 2009, including for IPPF, International Civil Society Support and WHO. She has recent experience of working in Latin America, SE Asia and the Middle East/North Africa region and she is currently involved with community competence through her work in The Constellation.