The Canada-funded project “Supporting LGBTQI Rights in Asia: Connecting Voices for LGBTQI Socio Economic Inclusion and Human Rights in Asia” implemented by APCOM, organized an online two-day orientation meeting on 16 and 17 August 2023 for the newly selected 15 LGBTQI+ partner organisations in Southeast Asia. The orientation is one of the first activities with the LGBTQI+ partner organizations, which provided a virtual platform to discuss the project goals and plans, and offered a safe space where participants shared updates on LGBTQI+ communities.
Under the project, APCOM partners with local LGBTQI+ organizations to improve the overall organizations’ ability to represent and advocate for LGBTQI+ persons’ welfare towards shaping gender-responsive policies and programs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, and Thailand.
The Ambassador of Canada to ASEAN Victoria Singmin opened the project orientation with a message of support:
“We congratulate the APCOM foundation for a successful implementation of the project that opened up opportunities for LGBTQI+ organizations to build their capacities and become more established. We look forward to your successes translating into better lives for the LGBTQI+ community in your countries. Canada remains committed to supporting the LGBTQI+ organizations and communities, as respect for human rights is at the heart of Canada’s international policies and engagement.”Victoria Singmin, Ambassador of Canada to ASEAN
The orientation brought about 33 participants including APCOM’s project staff, 5 national country partners (Babaylanes, CHIAs, Micro Rainbow Cambodia, Suara Kita, Swing), and 10 sub-national country partners (Beautiful Life Organisation, Don’t Stop Dream Team, Glamourosa Catarman, Gaylam, Health and Opportunity Network (HON), LBTQ Organization against Violence and for Equality (LOVE), Love is diversity, Pink Monkey Organization, Srikandi Pakuan, Takieng Lao).
The project orientation provided an opportunity for the country partner organizations to know each other and share knowledge and information about the LGBTQI+ rights situation in five countries. The organizations also built a mutual understanding of the overall project background, goals, and objectives, including of their roles and responsibilities for the implementation phase.
“Thank you very much for today meeting. It’s the first time for me to join all the team members. I have been working many years but no one haven’t asked what we need and what we want to do. This project did and made me grateful. We are altogether and get stronger.
Sivat Prom, Beautiful Life Organisation
“Thank you very much for letting us join the project. I am looking forward to partnering with Global Affairs Canada, APCOM, Babaylanes, and other organizations.Since Glamourosa is quite new, we don’t know much about the activities that we are going to do but with your support and orientation, we will get through there.”Jorge Durom, Glamourosa Catarman, Philippines
For the next steps, APCOM will continue to work with the partner LGBTQI+ organizations, particularly on the organizational diagnosis reports that will frame the baseline of the organizational needs and inform the capacity strengthening activity design. The project’s capacity strengthening support will ultimately help the LGBTQI+ organizations further build their skills and knowledge, increase sustainability as organizations, expand networks and strengthen their movement, and sustainably deliver appropriate services and support to LGBTQI+ people.
Stay tuned on our APCOM page and social media platforms for the future exciting activities in supporting LGBTQI+ Rights in our regional LGBTQI+ communities.