This past quarter was filled with disasters, of both the natural and man-made kind. We witnessed the devastation of floods in South Asia, Hurricane Irma, and an earthquake in central Mexico – as well as the Rohingya crisis in Burma/Myanmar and the ongoing free-for-all killing spree that is the Philippines drug war.
Amidst the resulting horror, grief, despair, and anger, beautiful things miraculously arise. One of those is the coming together of communities, whether in the wake of a treacherous storm or murderous government policy.
The forming of a community acts as a balm and leads to new action, the linkages forming a powerful web of resistance and resilience. This is what Asia Catalyst is all about: supporting grassroots gathering to create stronger communities and a more just world.
Most recently, we were able to set the stage for amazing activists in Burma/Myanmar, where we launched our country programming with a workshop of diverse advocates with bold political and social justice ideas for making their country better for the most marginalized, such as sex workers and people with HIV. We love to support them, and we hope you will, too! Please read below to learn more.
Gareth Durrant, Director of Programs and Partnerships, reflects on Asia Catalyst’s newest country program in Myanmar, launched this quarter.
The recent political transformation in Myanmar and the willingness of the new government to engage with civil society groups in reviewing of archaic laws and drafting new bills have presented opportunities for community based organizations (CBOs) to make lasting changes. Supporting CBOs to maintain the momentum of their advocacy work is crucial at this time.
In 2017, Asia Catalyst (AC) secured partial funding from Viiv Healthcare and Foundation for a Just Society to invest further resources into our work there, which is led by Khine Su Win, our Myanmar Program Officer. Through our networks, we identified four new CBOs representing sex workers (across the gender spectrum), people who use drugs, women living with HIV, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals to take part in three capacity-building workshops in Yangon. (more…)