Georgia remains one of the European countries with the highest level of hostility towards the LGBTI people. According to the Paw Research Center, 77% of the public believes that homosexuality shouldn’t be accepted. Many believe being an LGBTI person is a disease, sin, or perversion. Those attitudes and existing social taboos about sexual orientation and gender identity cause persistent hostile attitudes towards LGBTI people. While the situation in the capital, Tbilisi, has changed in the past years, and LGBTI people may feel relatively safe there, those living in rural and remote areas remain completely hidden.
In order to overcame this challenges, together with our partners, we are building a more inclusive Georgia! On 25-27 August 15 LGBTI activists from outside the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi, participated in Advocacy training, and learned how to monitor human rights violations and how to plan campaigns to change laws and practices. Soon, they will apply the skills gained in a practice, making in their localities small-scale projects promoting equality. The training was co-organized by AFEW International in the framework of the project Empowered LGBTI community in Georgia.
Advocacy for LGBTI rights is not the only topic of the project. In September, another training session will be held to prepare the project participants for providing mental health support in their communities. This training will equip them with the necessary skills to help those in the LGBTI community who may be struggling with their mental well-being.
Shortly after the mental health training, the project participants will have the opportunity to travel to Poland and Germany. During their visit, they will meet with organizations working for the LGBTI community in these countries. This trip will provide them with inspiration and valuable contacts to enhance their activities back in Georgia.
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The project is implemented by AIDS Action Europe in partnership with Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health Tanadgoma and technical support from AFEW International, and is dedicated to strengthening the LGBTI community in Georgia. The project is funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia program.