Innovate and Learn Grant
Call for Proposal
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
Age-discriminated vulnerable groups, notably the young and the elderly
Improved Access to Social Services, Health and Education
Space for political participation
Amount Funded160,000 EURO
Project Duration01 Feb 2017 - 31 Jan 2018
Positive Vibes is a Namibian registered trust that has been operating nationally since 2008 and in the South Africa region since 2012. The organisation currently employs 25 staff and has a functioning network of some 100 consultants operating at the community level or at the regional level. Positive Vibes has two offices in Namibia that serve the region.
Positive Vibes’ main area of expertise is capacity development. Fifteen different participatory methods, aligned to the organisation’s Freireian philosophy, are used to build capacity in CBOs, NGOs and networks. From 2009 to present, some 70,000 people have been reached.
This project aims to deepen its understanding of the results and impacts of their previous programmes and projects implemented across 16 African countries, which addressed issues around identity and awareness of Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transsexual-Intersex (LGBTI) people.
This project wants to contribute to the reduction of self-stigmatisation, social stigmatisation and discrimination of LGBTI groups in rural Uganda together with three partner organisations. The project uses three methodologies to address marginalisation of LGBTI: 1. Looking in, looking out (LILO-identity) which is designed to unpack feelings, needs and desires, and to help participants to make choices and plans for themselves. 2. LILO Key Population which deepens understanding of LGBTI people in general and provides tools to incorporate LGBTI in policies. 3. LILO Voice which is to advocate, influence others and build social movements. Therefore, this project intends to find out the overall outcomes and impacts with the utilisation of the Inside-Out Approach and methodology in LGBTI individuals and organisations.
During the two learning cycles in the project, Positive Vibes, its partners and other stakeholders reflected on the learning process at three interconnected levels:
- An experiential level in which the LGBT-led organisations and LGBT people in Uganda are the primary subjects, based on their lived reality;
- A strategic and operational level in which Positive Vibes and its implementing partners are the subjects, based in their technical design and delivery of programmes and methodologies in contexts like that found in Uganda;
- A conceptual level in which the Looking In Looking Out methodology itself, and its theoretical underpinnings are analysed. Positive Vibes succeeded in identifying and acting upon lessons learnt along the project, bringing into sharper focus an understanding of marginalisation – of what that experience means and how it manifests beyond the familiar language used to characterise it – and how power is expressed within cultures and human systems to systematically exclude and side-line. This in turn has assisted Positive Vibes to understand how to accompany those who have been marginalised so that they are supported, encouraged, inspired and enabled to effectively come to voice. Not only what activities to design, but the practice, behaviours and ways of thinking that must consistently characterise the approach for how activities are delivered.
- NO ONE IS VOICELESS
- MARGINALISATION DOES NOT REMOVE VOICE.
- PEOPLE ARE THE EXPERTS OF THEIR OWN LIVES.
- THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS RESILIENT.
- COMING TO VOICE MAY BE MORE SIGNIFICANT AND POWERFUL THAN EXPRESSING VOICE
- COMING TO VOICE – A PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT AND MATURATION IN PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE MARGINALISED – CAN BE ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THROUGH A NUMBER OF PROCESSES AND PRACTICES:
- PERSONALISATION | doing the internal psychological, emotional and cognitive work of looking in, looking back, looking out, looking forward; identifying the lifeworld and the environment in which it is located.
- PARTICIPATION | opportunities for people to legitimately and authentically engage in processes and with material that is about them, that belongs to them, that affects them, and to speak to that material – to interpret it, to give it meaning.
- ACCOMPANIMENT | in suppressive environments especially, people sustain their will and energy and confidence for movement and response when they are consistently, intimately, appropriately companioned by supportive “others” who believe in and affirm their human capacity to make their own responses in their own time and commit in some way to walking alongside in solidarity.
- FACILITATION |a way of working with individuals and communities defined by “enablement” rather than “intervention”; not unlike the ethics of counselling, facilitation seeks to stimulate and support the unveiling of strengths in people and communities to make a response in their own lives, instead of prescribing or providing solutions, assuming people are unable or deficient. Organisations may need to adapt their own ways of thinking and working, to consciously dismantle their own power that inadvertently marginalises those with lesser power.
- to facilitate, protect, defend, promote spaces for authentic and legitimate participation by communities.
- to respect the capability, insight, intuition and sensitivity of local communities to say what things mean, and to make choices about direction; to lead.
- that respecting the leadership of communities does not mean organisations abdicate or abandon communities. Accompaniment means participation – to learn, to appreciate, to acknowledge, to support, to encourage, to celebrate – in the space where one does not lead.
- to support the inner work of personalisation within individuals and collectives where coming to voice is a healthy foundation for movement.
- to design programme in a way that is sensitive and considered of the local realities of people and places – their lifeworlds -- and to do so with communities so as not to presume or usurp local knowledge and expertise; or to implement activities that compromise the privacy, dignity or safety of people at the margins.
- to facilitate, rather than intervene.