The second part of a three year transgender movement, Exchange Programme takes place in Cape Town from September 6 to 13, 2011.
The first part of this exchange programme took place in Namibia from May 24 to 28 last year. This programme is a partnership between by Gender DynamiX (GDX) and Support Initiative for People with atypical Sex Development (SIPD). The programme commenced last year, and has produced a DVD titled ‘Exquisite Gender’ with its participant’s at the end of last year.
The programme will include training in organizational development and fundraising. This will include topics such as how to develop mission and vision, how to recruit the right board, its roles and responsibilities, management strategies etc.
Other topics are patriarchy, feminism and power, Strategic planning for region, transitioning, Intersex follow -up, Discussions on trans men and trans women surgeries, the needs of the transgender movement in Africa, HIV, intersections of vulnerability and preventing activist burn-out. There will also be a follow-up of the first Exchange Programme, this will be in the form of an update from SIPD, GDX and funders.
The programme aims to create awareness that transgendered and Intersex people exist in Africa which is still considered UnAfrican. The programme also aims to train its participants to be future activists and to assist other African countries to have their leaders on issues concerning transgendered and intersex people. Previous participants involved in this programme have been activists from different countries in Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
In May this year the programme was in Uganda where participants came from Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Fourteen participants took part, 10 were trans men, four trans women and one intersex person who identified as a man.
Amongst the organisations visited by the programme were the human rights organisations, Refugee Law Project, and a number of LGBTI organisations. These were visited by programme participants to establish how they handle the homophobia and transphobia in their country and what they intend to do about it.
Chan Mubanga, a trans man from Zambia who has attended the programme feels that the Exquisite Gender project built his capacity by introducing him to video and media advocacy, storytelling techniques and reinforced the importance of documentation.
He said, “In Uganda as an activist working in a hostile environment it was inspiring to meet SMUG staff and hear their experiences. Also the time shared with participants reflecting on our work, lives and purpose of the exchange programme helped me see the dynamics within the group and that our needs were not static but somehow similar.”
He said that he benefited because the programme created opportunities to build alliances and networks and friendships. The “Learn and Share” experience also benefited the movement in Zambia.
Mubanga added, “We strive to be up to speed with the other movements, empowering our staff with skills learned from attending this programme.
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