Leadership and Wellness delegates reconnect, with stronger resolve than ever!
By Kellyn Botha
2 February 2018, South Africa
From 21 to 29 June 2017, 18 transgender and intersex delegates from eight African nations were brought together by Iranti for a nine-day intensive leadership and wellness training session aimed at strengthening the region’s network of activists and provide the skills needed for them to press for meaningful change.
Now, half a year later, those same activists reconvened to report back on progress made in their organisations and regions, as well as to build on the knowledge set out in the first training session.
The training was facilitated from 21 to 26 January 2018 by Mo Salomon of Korumo Coaching for Transformation and Berenice Meintjes, an independent consultant with experience in dealing with LGBTI issues, trauma and organisational development. Both gave special focus to organisational planning and theories of change; a structural tool used to strategically identify the goals and activities leading to the successful execution of a group’s primary purpose.
“It is crucial for our organisations to be able to grow and to be able to become what they want to become and be the voice that they want to be,” said Jholerina Timbo of Wings to Transcend, Namibia. “And in order to achieve that goal you need to know what the change is that you want to see, and for that you need to know what indicators to use to track this change, and for this you need to know what outcomes you need to achieve that goal. So for me the theory of change teaching has been the crucial thing that we have all been struggling with and the training has helped give us a simple understanding on how to create an impactful theory of change.”
This period of training also allowed guests to touch base with one another, and it was evident that people were far more comfortable and confident in the space than in the first training event. The activists that Iranti has worked with have grown tremendously in strength and ability, and as the capacity of their organisations grow, so too do their voices. It demonstrates that now, more than ever, we live in a new “moment” for transgender and intersex Africans.
It is a moment that has been a long time coming, and which Iranti has been honoured to contribute to.
“This is the first training that I have ever attended where a person is helped personally as well as professionally, so I feel like it was a success. I am lucky because I use the things I learnt in the first training for the trans community there at home,” said M.K from Tanzania, where the national government has been aggressively targeting LGBT persons in recent months, but have failed to break the will of local human rights activists like himself.
Delegates have returned to their home countries now, and it is heartening to know that knowledge and strategies are being shared actively across the region. The training project in its current form has come to a close but we know that everyone involved will surely continue to grow and bring the change we all wish to see on our continent. We will continue to stand by them for the trials and triumphs to come.