A society that values human diversity and upholds social justice and wellness for all.
Summary Description of your Organization
Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), is a registered local non-government Human Rights organization working with Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) and other vulnerable groups in Malawi. Its mission is to create an enabling environment and protect the well-being of sexual minorities and other vulnerable groups such as Female Sex Workers (FSWs) and Prisoners. Built around our four thematic areas, thus Health, Advocacy, Research and Finance & Administration, we implemented a number of interventions all trained at the creation of an enabling policy, legal and structural environment that protect the wellbeing and interest of sexual minorities and other vulnerable groups. For instance, Our health interventions that operationalize our Strategic goal number one that aims at improving the HIV and Health Related Services for LGBTI, contributed immensely towards the global and national goal of reaching zero new HIV infections, zero stigma and discrimination, zero HIV related deaths and reduction of other sexually transmitted infections among sexual minorities. We are driven by our conviction that without the involvement of the LGBTI in the 90:90:90 discourse, all efforts towards the cause are in vain. To this end, a number of inventions were implemented aimed at preventing and reducing new HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Similarly we also implemented interventions targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) including adolescents MSM in order to reduce HIV transmission among them. Statistics from our health interventions are overwhelming. We did not only enrol 10,045 MSM-about 36% increment from the previous year- we also put 8277 of them through HTC. Of the 398 clients that were diagnosed HIV+, 355 were straight away put on ART. Our interventions are always informed by empirical evidence and as such are always in search of up-to-date data. We carried out two research studies namely Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (SRHS) among key populations (Female Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, Transgender women, and People who Inject Drugs) in Malawi. Among other findings, this study established that most of the key populations are not aware of what services are offered within the health system. Similarly, we also conducted a mapping exercise aimed at identify Transgender People (TGs) and Injecting Drugs Users (IDUs) as key affected populations. This was necessitated by the realisation that there was no data that speak to these key populations. As at the close of the year, the results for this study were not yet out. We however envision that this study will help us establish among other things sites where condom, lubricants, and safe injecting equipment should be accessed. On a civil rights, good governance, rule of law advocacy front, we continued to assume a thought leader role. We took a leading role in holding duty bearers accountable. We achieved this through numerous vehicles including media advocacy and profiling, mediation and interface meetings, strategic litigation and state party reporting. We were also very active in mobilizing and creating a critical mass to demand and claim their rights. We also took a leading role in the establishment of the Malawi Human Rights Defenders Forum where we have assumed the vice chairpersonship. Individually and in collaboration with our partners, we notably, at both national and international levels, engaged the due processes in championing of human rights, good governance and rule of law. We employed ligation as an advocacy strategy where we dragged the Democratic Progress Party to court for abusing government institutions to fund party operations. While we have registered great progress, we also faced challenges. Homophobia is still rampant and the civil and political space keeps on shrinking. As a counter measure, we will always be proactive in creating new partnership and nurturing the existing one especially with the Health Service Providers, The police, the Media, Faith and Tradional Leaders, Development partners, civil society organizations and the judiciary as we pursue our dream of a homophobia society. We seek all the relevant support as we push back and counter the false narrative that stifle human rights and rule of law in Malawi and the world at large.