Halo, Yiu Oraet?
We apologies for this newsletters delay, but we are here and proudly Queer!
Some of you may know of us, and some of you may have just recently heard of us. To our closest collaborators, Thank You for the work you do.
For those of you who do not know of us, we are a Non-Profit, community-based Organization in Vanuatu, dedicated to educating, advocating, and mobilizing around diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), and the elimination of discrimination against those of Diverse SOGIESC. Since 2017, this has been our mission and driving purpose.
We are taking steps to better our Transparency in our work in different ways towards our members and partners. One step is this Newsletter. On a recurring 3-month basis we’ll share all the work we have done, along with what we have attended during that period, what is in progress, and future plans for our activities. Below you will find all the work that we have done from April – June of this year 2023.
We’re on Facebook so don’t hesitate to contact us and get to know more about us.
VPride Marches for Climate Action
On the 6th of April, VPride was proud to march for climate justice as the country celebrated the achievement of being the head of seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the issue of Climate change and Human rights. VPride marched proud to represent SOGIESC diverse individuals solidarity for the climate action movement in which we have participated in the past being apart of VCAN (Vanuatu Climate Action Network) and PICAN (Pacific Climate action Network).
The voice of SOGIESC diverse individuals, like those of special needs/ PWD (People with Disabilities), must be heard in all spaces including, climate action, therefore VPride back in 2022 participated in an official climate policy dialogue hosted by PICAN and VCAN that had intended to organize a series of dialogues and focus group discussions with civil society groups, in particular grassroots-based community-led and focused organizations, networks, including women’s groups, indigenous groups, youth groups, disability groups and other marginalized groups that are often absent within the formal climate spaces. This important event was one of many stepping stones that led to this march.
VPride continues to provide SOGIESC Diverse individuals with a voice in these spaces and will continue to do so till true inclusion is achieved in Vanuatu and the world.
APTC/VPride Partnership Trip to Santo
VPride through its partnership with APTC was privileged to run a few SOGIE awareness’s in Santo. The SOGIE sessions ran, consisted of two sessions with the APTC alumni students in Santo, and the other with the existing APTC partners of Sanma.
These SOGIE awareness’s held significance due to APTC running head in providing an audience to be sensitized, in turn we at VPride made sure all that are in contact with APTC are aware of the existence of SOGIESC diverse people and the importance of the inclusion of individuals in this marginalized group. This was also an opportunity to trial the receival of a participation certificate upon attending a SOGIE awareness facilitated by VPride.
Yannick Tarivuhavuha shares that ” It is essential that all those that are looking to move forward in the working world in any form be it tourism or any other vocational work must be aware of the presence of SOGIE diverse individuals so that they can cater to ALL individuals, for true effective and inclusive service”.
The SOGIE awareness’s were well received said Yannick, and that we are looking forward to continue to work with APTC to aid in bringing us into spaces that are difficult to move in as a singular organization.
VPride capacity in Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) Training Completion.
VPride expanded its capacity by undergoing Mental health and psycho-social support training, the training was run by IsraAid in collaboration with the ministry of health. The training first began earlier in march but continued in may as to cover all topics that were initially planned to be taught. Upon completion VPrides Eriko William and Malone Wilson were awarded an official certificate branded with the Vanuatu coat of arms and signed by both the country director of IsraAid and the Director of Public Health.
Malone shares ” This training further enables us at VPride to aid our members and everyone for that matter, in any and all dire times in which a persons mental health is being strained. Further being a person that comes from a community that is subjected to immense mental strain on a daily basis, these new found skills can help me help others like me”
The training will now enable the VPride staff to quickly mobilize in times of disaster to respond to any traumatic events that may plague a person shortly after the event, and more to provides us with the proper referral system to address certain, more serious cases of mental health strain.
Thank you to IsraAid for inviting us to participate in this program, and we hope to use these skills effectively in our work.
Launch of Latest booklet on COVID’s Impact on SOGIE Diverse people
VPrides Provide a Voice Campaign
VPride conducted its inaugural online campaign from June 1st to 30th, providing a platform for individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions (SOGIE) and their allies to share meaningful messages throughout Pride Month. The campaign featured a collection of quotes from a wide range of participants, including SOGIE diverse individuals as well as individuals who do not identify as such, representing various backgrounds such as NGO management, parents, and youth. Despite facing online backlash, the campaign persevered, underscoring our unwavering dedication to promoting acceptance and inclusivity for people with diverse SOGIE. This initiative at VPride serves as a powerful testament to the significance of our work.
VPride and Sista collaborate
Throughout Pride month, Sista showed its support by actively promoting LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusivity. They demonstrated their solidarity by sharing graphic excerpts from our own SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression) booklet on their social media platform. The intention behind this initiative was to disseminate the valuable information contained within the SOGIE booklet. During internal discussions leading up to the joint campaign, a member of the Sista staff expressed, “The SOGIE booklet is a valuable resource that deserves greater promotion and awareness.” By leveraging their platform, Sista aimed to contribute to the broader dissemination of knowledge about LGBTQ+ identities and experiences.
We thank Sista for their solidarity, and being with us during the hard month.