Message from the Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights, Ghana [CEPEHRG] on the 2013 World Aids Day CelebrationDecember 3, 2013
Greetings to you ladies and gentlemen; this journey started in the year 2004 when there was high level of stigma and discrimination against marginalized population or people such as sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and bisexual people in general. We lost lots of friends due to denial of services and stigma. Many people were pessimistic that there will be an effective intervention programs to reach out to MSM and other marginalized population. We were denied access to some meetings, denied funding by those who claim to be the champions of Human Rights and Justice across Europe and the Americas. The simple reason was “you have no capacity” or “you are too small to manage our huge funding”.
In the midst of all these difficulties, Astraea Foundation came in with funding to help CEPEHRG position its self for the struggle ahead. Few people were hired to assist project implementation. Then the American Jewish World Service came in to support the sustenance of these interventions and programs for many years.
On this year AIDS day celebration, CEPEHRG urge all sex workers, gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people who are suffering and keep trying to gain acceptance from donors, foundations, service providers, friends and family to sit up , reflect on life and strategize for the struggle ahead.
We should emphasize on the use of condoms and lubricants correctly and consistently, seek early treatment for STI and prevent willful transmission of HIV. We need to show love and compassion when necessary to put the dying back to life. We should encourage psychosocial counseling when needed.
We are by this statement calling on diplomatic missions, foundations, donors, friends and family members who keep denying us (LGBTI persons) resources to re-consider their stance and help hope to the marginalized in the society.
The discrimination will stop one day and hope will smile at us.
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