Ian Southey-Swartz

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Ian Southey-Swartz has wide-ranging experience in the HIV and education sectors with particular expertise in issues of sexuality. In 1990, he joined the Ministry of Education in the newly independent Namibia as a Life Skills Counsellor. At the Ministry, he was involved in rewriting the curriculum for Life Science for grades 8 to 12 and campaigned for the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools. In 1997 he cofounded The Rainbow Project, the national Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender organisation in Namibia. In 1999 he became the director of the organisation, where he made a significant contribution towards making the The Rainbow Project the reputable organisation that it is today. He became a leader in civil society in Namibia and in the region, known for his outspokenness on the rights of LGBT and other sexual minorities. While challenging homophobia within the Namibian government, he gained wider respect for defending the rights of women, people with disability and people living with HIV/Aids. In 2009 Ian joined OSISA as the Sexual Minorities Coordinator within the HIV Unit.


  • 1 Hood Avenue/148 Jan Smuts; Rosebank, GP 2196; South Africa
  • T. +27 (0)11 587 5000
  • F. +27 (0)11 587 5099