Who would have thought we would be doing this Special COVID-19 Effect Series newsletter for this long? How did a year go by so quickly, and will we come out of the pandemic through building a more equal and sustainable society?
“We need a community-led and community-owned funding mechanism for communities working on LGBTQI and HIV issues in Asia Pacific, and COVID-19 really amplified the need for such mechanism for emergencies like COVID-19 but also to ensure the resilience and sustainability of activists and organizations to continue to do their important work in the region.”
Midnight, Executive Director APCOM
In the Highlight issue of Special COVID-19 Effect Series, APCOM reflected on the ever- changing challenging situation and the impact, both in the short and long term of COVID-19 on the communities we serve. We are all dealing with the consequences of COVID-19, including services being unavailable, inaccessible or unaffordable because of restrictive measures to curb the pandemic. We are witnessing community organisations having to close operations due to lack of sustainable funding; how COVID-19 has exacerbated discrimination and marginalisation of LGBTQI communities and key populations, and the burden of community leaders that is negatively affecting their mental health and abilities to perform.
The COVID-19 Effect series also documented the work and efforts of APCOM, partner organisations, communities and individuals that demonstrated resourcefulness, resilience and ability to reaching the most marginalised. We hold and share these inspiring stories on overcoming challenges and working together to tackle HIV and advocate for LGBTQI rights, as we are closely monitoring how the “new normal” has triggered increased stigma, legal restrictions and discrimination of marginalized communities.
APCOM is not immune to the pandemic, and we do not have all the answers. However, we believe that by consistently and continuously amplifying the voices of the communities we serve, we are reminding our communities that they are not forgotten or alone. We also remind the he wider community that there are larger issues to tackle in terms of inequity and inequality, and that it is crucial that community networks and organisations are responding to the most marginalised in their immediate community.
We need a community-led and community-owned funding mechanism for communities working on LGBTQI and HIV issues in Asia Pacific. COVID-19 has really amplified the need for such mechanism for emergencies like COVID-19, but also the need to ensure the resilience and sustainability of activists and organisations to be able to continue to do their important work in the region.
Thank you to our partners who have contributed their stories to our many newsletters. This issue is our 22nd since we began the newsletter series a year ago in April 2020! Thank you also to our donors who continues to support APCOM’s work.