Striving for a More Inclusive Future
VPride Foundation is a community based group founded in 2017 and was set up to help educate, advocate and mobilize LGBTIQ+ people and SWs in Vanuatu.
It all began with 2 WSB (Wan Smol Bag) members that attended a meeting in Samoa for PSGDN (pacific sexual diversity network) in 2007, as representatives of Vanuatu. This meeting served to educate representatives so that they would hopefully return to their respective countries to start an organization to advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights. Upon their return, they worked slowly till establishing the sisters of solidarity in 2008. At this time the organization worked slowly with occasional meetings on projects provided by WSB (Wan Smol Bag) with various members joining throughout the years, till 2014 where the now Executive director Gillio Baxter came on board to join the organization.
Still continuing slowly the organization continued with the small projects such as cooking, sowing, dancing, etc. At this time the organisation was being run by one of the two WSB members that attended the meeting back in 2008, Jayline Malverus. Coming to 2016-2017 The sisters of solidarity were employed by Oxfam to aid in establishing the SEED ( Socio Economic Empowerment Dialogue).
The organization took a big leap, late 2017, establishing the now known VPride organization, appointing Gillio Baxter as the official Executive director. Coming to 2018, VPride established its first OFFICIAL office at the WSB complex, by this time VPride began to receive funding from UNDP (United nations development program) to conduct HIV testing’s, and outreach programs to the outer islands educating the people on HIV, as their first big project as an established organization. This continued till the end of 2020, by which VPride began to receive funding for other projects from UNDP along with the HIV Project, one project being the VPride Fashion show. This Fashion show gave some LGBTIQ + were given a chance to showcase their skills in sowing.
Coming to 2021, VPride began to receive additional funding from Oxfam . Oxfam funded VPride to further the SEED project by conducting outreach programs. The country observed the strife of VPrides work in 2021, when VPride held its biggest fashion show yet, further displaying the talents of various LGBTQ+ people. This exposed VPride to the society, Attracting donors from other organizations around the world till today where VPride has partners and donors from various parts of not only Vanuatu, but the world.