COMMUNITY HERO Honourees
Supported by our Community Partner – ILGA Asia
My name is Nyampurev, everyone calls me Sunday. I’m 33 years old. I am an open and proud gay who lives and works in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. My open gay status gives me an opportunity to work free in LGBTIQ+, HIV and human rights field. It’s been 16 years since I came out while I was working at the Together Center NGO. Since then, my work and life became one.
I was 17 when I came out to my family. This confession cost me a lot as I had to leave my home and stand alone. This experience made me reconsider my whole life and eventually made me even stronger. All the obstacles I went through shaped me into today’s Sunday. I wanted to change the world and create a more LGBTIQ+ friendly environment where nobody has to go through such difficulties just because they are gay.
Mongolian society is very conservative and the majority of the population are still not ready for the LGBTIQ+ people which clarifies the true reason why fewer LGBT people are open about their sexual orientation and interest to the public. It’s hard to be yourself when haters are in larger numbers than your supporters. But no matter what I will always be a proud gay and will continue to put my efforts in outnumbering haters in my society.
Please briefly let us know about your work
My career as a LGBTIQ+ and HIV activist began in 2008 as an outreach worker at “Together Centre” which was an MSM focused NGO that provides HIV services. One of my first ever successfully initiated campaigns were “I Love Condom” and “Trust” group activity interventions.
I joined the LGBTQ Center of Mongolia NGO in 2013 as a Health and Youth Program Manager and brought fundraising activities among the community. We raised 67% of our total fund for the Pride Week Mongolia for the first time in the country and, in collaboration with Youth Voices Count, I organized IDAHOT 2013 in Mongolia. Meanwhile I was working in the “LGBT in Asia” campaign for UNDP.
In 2015, I started working at the Youth for Health Center (YFHC). I was an Outreach Program Manager, leading 24 people. The outreach work is considered as a leading outreach intervention in the country. When I first started, we only reached less than 500 MSM in UB and now we reach approximately 3000 MSM annually, around 50% of the total estimated MSM in the country wide. Since 2019, I’m working as an SKPA Project Officer leading the Test4ub campaign and Community Based Monitoring at YFHC.
Also, I am a proud Global Fund (GF) CCM Mongolia member since 2016. I was appointed as a team leader for the GF supported HIV Grant 2021-2023 round proposal development of the TWG (technical working group).
What one achievement you’ve accomplished that you’re most proud of
I have many achievements which I am proud of. However, currently I am very proud of the Test4UB campaign achievement which has reached more than 150,000 people through its various platforms with several kinds of contents which is now the one and only successful MSM focused campaign through Mongolia.
What do you find most challenging about your work
Some of the stakeholders’ homophobic attitude. It’s challenging because stakeholders’ engagement is crucial for successful implementation of our activities
What do you do to recharge your battery
I feel fully recharged when my work is successful.
What is your vulnerability and how do you overcome it
Not balancing work and life rhythm since I’ve been involved in the community for over a decade until now. I do yoga, mandala painting and some reading to overcome stressful times.
What was your reaction to being named one of the honourees for the Community Hero category
I felt extremely joyful and honored that I was nominated as one of the distinguished nominees. The nomination itself encourages me to be thankful and work even harder for my community.
Despite the fact that the COVID-19 is still with us, what is a message that you would like to share with the communities in the Asia Pacific
Even though social distance sets us apart far from each other, we still have to thrive and try hard to stay close emotionally and mentally. We can overcome these hard times.