APCOM conducts a 5-day training workshop between 9th and 13th September 2013 with emerging young gay, men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender advocates across Asia focusing on communications and social media.
Communication Causes Change (CCC) Project, as the workshop is titled, is funded by the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund (RCNF). selected 15 participants under 30 years of age out of over 150 applications received from the MSM, gay and transgender community to impart experiences and knowledge in working with the mainstream media, social media and to increase the communications structures within regional and national level networks.
“We are thankful to the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund for supporting APCOM to provide the opportunity for these young people to learn, return home and communicate the great work being done in their community and country,” said Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director of APCOM. “We have an exceptional group of young people who surpassed our expectations. They will be great advocates in the future.”
The pilot training programme, which APCOM hope to replicate in the future, involved bringing experts in their respective fields to share knowledge and experience of media and communications with this group of emerging advocates. Facilitators of the training were representatives of key organisations for the MSM and transgender community, including Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV (APN+), Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Youth Voices Count (YVC), UNAIDS Regional Support Team – Asia Pacific, the Being LGBT in Asia project supported by USAID and UNDP, and the HIV and AIDS Data Hub for Asia-Pacific.
The participants have strong connections to the MSM and transgender communities in their respective countries, and for some it was their first time to travel out of their country. These young delegates were from China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to Sibi Mathen, a 27-year-old participant who represents Yaariyan, an LGBT youth group in Mumbai, India, “My interactions with my fellow participants have been the most fruitful. I have realised that despite being spread across the continent and the having different cultures, as LGBT persons, we share a lot of commonalities, and together by forging a strong network we can all help each other immensely.”
“I am very proud to be selected as a candidate of this workshop, the workshop was very useful and very informative. I believe that this project will help the MSM, transgender & PLHIV community in the region come together and further empower the voice of the minority groups in the region, looking towards a future that includes equality and acceptance,” said Juno, 21-year-old participant, from Vietnam.