MAURITIUS – 03 December 2021. On 01 December 2021, the Collectif Arc-en-Ciel (CAEC) and the Young Queer Alliance (YQA) facilitated a National Convening on the theme: LGBTI Public Policy Advocacy in the Context of COVID-19: Rollbacks, Resilience & Reinvention, funded by The Other Foundation and supported the Danish Government. This national consultative meeting served as a galvanising tool to initiate more joined-up, strategic and hard-hitting public advocacy actions by LGBTI activists in the Southern Africa region.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent restrictions, there has been a decline in the momentum of LGBTI activism in the region. LGBTI activists in the region have not had adequate opportunities to regroup and re-strategise about how to innovatively undertake effective advocacy activities in the post COVID-19 context. The convening allowed the CAEC, YQA and The Other Foundation to address the impact of the COVID-19 on the LGBTQIA+ community, the main challenges faced by, and opportunities presented.
During his intervention, Neville Gabriel, CEO of The Other Foundation, stated, “The aim of the convening is to look at – what might we do differently, where else might we look, to achieve the positive outcomes, in a context where we might not be able to practice conventional advocacy. Thus, how can we reinvent our advocacy approaches to achieve maximum outcomes in the context of COVID-19″.
Throughout the programme, participants – from different local NGOs and independent activists – had the opportunity to collectively brainstorm their ideas for developing COVID-19 appropriate advocacy strategies, and to plan their implementation. Representatives from local NGOs affirmed that solidarity is a key value to enable the smooth running of civil organisations. Independent activists expressed how COVID-19 and social isolation took a toll on their well-being and their interpersonal relationships with their relatives.
National consultative meetings were also held in Mauritius, Botswana, eSwatini, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa, which inform the Other Foundation’s strategic thinking on supporting litigation and other forms of public advocacy and also serve as a build-up to Kopano 2022 – the Other Foundation’s biannual regional gathering of LGBTI activists and allies from across the 13 countries in which it works.
For more information, please contact | Pour plus d’information veuillez contacter
• Tanvi Ramtohul, Advocacy & Communications Officer, Collectif Arc-En-Ciel
• Lakshita Kanhiya, Manager and Advocate, Young Queer Alliance