Gill GarbExecutive Director
A native South African, Gill Garb brings a 25-year track record of developing innovative education, health and HIV & AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to launching the Bantwana Initiative, Gill was World Education’s Southern Africa Regional Director and then HIV & AIDS Senior Advisor. In these roles, Gill used evidence-based strategies to test new approaches in HIV and AIDS programs and championed an integrated, comprehensive approach linking literacy, health, education, livelihoods, leadership, community awareness, and policy to mitigating the HIV epidemic.
Under Gill’s leadership, World Education’s HIV projects in Africa grew to a total of more than $20 million, and as the epidemic continued to spread, HIV & AIDS prevention, treatment, and care were mainstreamed into all World Education programs across Africa.
As Gill watched the AIDS epidemic leave millions of children orphaned and vulnerable, particularly in southern Africa, she noticed that while vast resources were invested in mitigating the HIV epidemic, few actually trickled down to the communities caring for these children. Seeing this, she developed a model focused on making necessary technical and management investments in people and organizations already caring for children in communities where they live and developing a comprehensive approach to address the critical and multi-faceted needs of infected and affected children.Gill launched the Bantwana Initiative in 2006 to help orphaned and vulnerable children—and their care-givers—access the full range of support and integrated care they need to grow into healthy adults. Bantwana started with three small projects in Uganda, Eswatini, and South Africa. Today Bantwana is working in six countries with a portfolio of 20 projects and a current budget of $22 million. Bantwana has developed a range of innovative models that address the social protection, education and health needs of vulnerable children and families that have been acknowledged as best practice and scaled up in several countries by national governments.