The Red Whistle Officers (L-R): Niccolo Cosme, Creative Director; Benedict Bernabe, Executive Director; Bill Julius Cosare, Deputy Executive Director.
MAKATI CITY, Philippines—On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, the Board of Trustees of The Red Whistle approves a new strategy for 2021-2031, expanding its mandate beyond promoting HIV awareness.
In line with scientific and medical advancements in HIV prevention and treatment, the organization now shifts its focus to addressing the issues that prevent people living with HIV from living their lives to the fullest. These include inequalities in access to sexual health, reproductive health and mental health services, as well as those created by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).
To reflect this shift, the organization’s new vision statement is now “Health, wellness, and human rights for all.” The organization believes that this vision can be achieved by empowering individuals to become leader-advocates within "communities of care" and identifies these communities in the mission statement, which is to “Empower communities of people living with HIV, people of diverse SOGIE, and people with mental health lived experience to fight for equality in health, wellness, and human rights.”
To turn this vision into reality, the Board approves a new organizational structure and announces the appointment of a new set of officers to lead the organization into a new decade of groundbreaking work.
Niccolo Cosme is The Red Whistle Creative Director
Niccolo Cosme continues in his role as Chair of the Board of The Red Whistle and is officially appointed to the position of Creative Director. A photographer and creative director by profession, Cosme’s initial involvement in HIV advocacy started with a Headshot Clinic campaign for World AIDS Day in 2008, inspired by the HIV diagnosis of his friend. The campaign became an annual project and a creative way to bring HIV education and testing to key affected populations.
In 2011, Cosme and his friends realized that the HIV response needs to be amplified and that a yearly campaign was not enough to address the rising cases of HIV in the Philippines, which led to the establishment of The Red Whistle. Primarily organized as a creative community designed to provide campaigns that promote HIV awareness, Cosme uses The Red Whistle to collaborate with other creatives to produce some of the most notable and iconic multimedia campaigns and events in public health promotion.
Benedict Bernabe is The Red Whistle Executive Director
Benedict Bernabe will assume the new title of Executive Director after having served as President since 2018. He has a Master of Development Studies degree from The University of Melbourne, Australia. He has been involved in HIV advocacy in the last ten years, including a stint with UNAIDS Philippines in 2010, and as trustee and officer of various HIV NGOs. He is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor degree at the University of the Philippines College of Law.
In response to the announcement of his appointment, Bernabe says, “Together, we assume a collective responsibility for the leadership of the organization. We hope that you will join us volunteers, officers, donors, or partners in the important work that we are about to undertake. We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders toward achieving our vision of health, wellness, and human rights for all.”
Bill Julius Cosare is new Deputy Executive Director
The Board also announces the appointment of one of its longtime volunteers, Bill Julius Cosare, as Deputy Executive Director of The Red Whistle. He was a Project Manager for Events, most notably the #SaveSexy City Events, and also sits as a trustee of The Red Whistle. He is a Department of Health-certified HIV Counselor since 2012 and has been actively involved in HIV projects focused on awareness campaigns, linkage to care, capacity building, and direct aid for people living with HIV. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Engineering and is now currently the International Sales Director of Greenfield Development Corporation.
In a message to volunteers, Cosare says, “As our tenth anniversary campaign theme, #TayôTayo says, when we rise together, we can achieve our main purpose in this mission. Each and every one's effort is greatly appreciated. Your individual contribution is recognized. Cheers to ten more years for The Red Whistle!”
The new officers are now in the process of convening an executive committee that will implement its strategy with a new operational plan for 2021-2022. Opportunities for volunteering, donation, and partnership will be announced in the second half of 2021.
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