Ms. Mildred Mushunje

HIV and Gender Officer
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations


Mildred is a social scientist and consultant with experience in participatory community based initiatives and participatory rural methodologies. When she was awarded a KSAL grant to pursue her PhD, she was working for Catholic Relief Services managing a portfolio of USAID-funded programmes for orphans and other vulnerable children. Her focus was on gender, child protection and social protection. Her PhD focused on social policy and administration in the area of children and food security. Mildred believes that the KSAL programme brought her out of her cocoon. The programme led Mildred to do much self-critical thinking, which she feels made her a better person and helped her become more focused. Now, before any endeavour, she considers its potential consequences and how she can make a lasting positive impact on those involved. She describes herself as self-driven. Her programmatic interests range from human rights and social justice—especially in the context of HIV and AIDS and poverty—and promotion of a participatory development culture to, above all, a passion for promoting the rights of people. She sees issues of HIV and AIDS as an intervening variable that cannot be ignored, since it reverses most gains in promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of people. Mildred has published in the area of women and children’s rights. Currently, she is the Food and Agriculture and HIV Officer at the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. She has an excellent command of oral, written and spoken English, SiNdebele and ChiShona. She holds a Master’s in Gender and Development Studies from the University of Manchester, U.K and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Zimbabwe.