This article is written by Nguyen Thi Kim Dung
The Vietnamese Network of MSM and Transgender People (VNMSM-TG) raises the voice and acts for the rights of MSM and transgender people.
At the moment, the Vietnamese MSM and transgender community is suffering from misconceptions and discrimination from their family, at schools, at work, in health settings, as well as from the media. This has caused the community to face many risks which compromise their livelihood and contribution to society, such as: physical and mental abuse, and a vast array of psychological problems.
The need to unify to protect the legitimate rights of this community was addressed in 2007 with the establishment of the Northern MSM Network and a few other networks. However, these networks only worked in their field and area without close connection with self-help groups and other networks in Vietnam, thus they did not have a synergy strength.
The idea of a united network for MSM and transgender people was conceived during the Vietnam Civil Society Partnership Platform on AIDS (VCSPA) Annual Meeting 2012. The MSM and transgender community discussed and agreed that it was an important moment for the establishment of a network of MSM and transgender people to connect and represent a voice of the community to advocate for human rights in Vietnam.
Immediately afterwards, with strong technical support from the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) and financial support from Pathways – USAID project, representatives of MSM and transgender groups in the North, the Center and the South organized meetings in which participants agreed that it was necessary to establish a network. The Interim Committee consisting of 7 representatives for were selected from the three regions North; Center; and South Vietnam.
The information about the Network was then introduced to the MSM and transgender community across the nation. 91 groups from 36 provinces/cities requested to join the network. In order for the Network to officially represent the voice of MSM and transgender people, the Interim Committee organised a meeting of all members and an official launch of the Network. To mobilize resources for this event, the Committee worked with different partners with strong support from SCDI and Pathways – USAID project. Through their enthusiasm, the Committee received technical and financial support from UNAIDS, Pathways – USAID project, ISDS, and Global Fund project.
In late July 2013, the Network successfully organized a Workshop to establish and launch the Network at Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa with the participation of member groups, donors and sympathy organizations. The Committee was officially elected with 7 members. At the workshop, all members also agreed to the convention, visions and strategies of the Network. The establishment of the Network was much appreciated by government authorities as well as partners. This was the result of the wholeheartedly efforts of the Interim Committee and members during the past several months. Now with the leadership of the Committee, VNMSM-TG has walked the very first steps to bring a better future for the MSM and transgender community.
For more information please contact:
Hoang Hai Vuong (Neptune)
Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI)
240 Mai Anh Tuan, Thanh Cong, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
Mobile: +84 904 312 903
Photo Caption 1: A peaceful and colorful world for everyone is the wish of the Network’s members.
Photo Caption 2 and 3: The members discussing the priorities of the Network and participating in group activities.
© VNMSM-TG 2013, © APCOM 2013
Source: VNMSM-TG 2013
Copyright: VNMSM-TG 2013