Focus Countries

Technical support delivered by MPact aims to improve the quality and access of health services, increase meaningful engagement of marginalized communities in various national AIDS planning processes, and strengthen advocacy leadership.

We train activists to effectively lobby their respective governments for an improved HIV response and we sensitize and train health professionals to engage our communities meaningfully. MPact directly supports more than 30 community-based organizations across 15 countries serving communities of men who have sex with men through one-on-one technical assistance, peer-to-peer exchange, and onward funding.

In addition, MPact produces web seminars, develops training curricula, designs program management tools, and disseminates strategic information to thousands of other advocates, health professionals, donors, implementers and policy makers across the globe.

In Brazil, MPact provides technical support to four local community-based organizations in Brazil that provide vital services to the LGBT community: Associacao Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS (ABIA), Iris de Cidadania LGBT (GAI), Grupo de Resistencia Asa Branca (GRAB), and SOMOS.

With technical support from MPact through the Bridging the Gaps program, local partners have successfully completed a wide range of programs to enhance LGBT rights in Brazil, including: online and local outreach to mobilize young people around issues of gender and sexuality; political engagement and online education campaigns; analysis of local plans to monitor delivery and implementation of HIV interventions; and numerous meetings to strengthen intergenerational dialogues between senior and younger LGBT activists.

In Cambodia, MPact provides technical support to local activists through the Speaking Out Initiative, fostering HIV advocacy efforts and leadership development at the grassroots level. The program launched in July 2013 with a training of 25 MSM and transgender activists from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanuk, Kandal, and Battam Bong. Using the skills gained in the July training, participants are currently developing local grassroots advocacy initiatives in their own communities that will be eligible for funding through the Speaking Out Initiative.

WATCH: Testimonials from Speaking Out: Cambodia participants Han Bunvireak and Srorn Srun.

As a founding member of the Community Leadership and Action Collaborative (CLAC), Mpact has provided technical support to civil society representatives of key populations in Cameroon to ensure meaningful involvement in the Global Fund’s New Funding Model.

In Cameroon, the CLAC developed and delivered trainings for civil society stakeholders representing MSM, people who use drugs, sex workers, and other key populations on the development of successful concept notes the Global Fund. The CLAC has also supported consultations for people living with HIV in Cameroon and organizations that support them.

In Costa Rica, the MSMGF provides technical support to Centro de Investigacion para America Central de Derechos Humanos (CIPAC), a local community-based organization working to eliminate inequalities based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

With technical support from the MSMGF through the Bridging the Gaps program, CIPAC has successfully improved and delivered materials on self-care and HIV prevention, trained 55 healthcare workers on sensitivity to LGBT issues, and presented results from a 2012 survey on knowledge of LGBT issues among healthcare providers to the Vice Minister of Public Health.

As part of the implementation of the Speaking Out Initiative in West Africa, the MSMGF began work to implement the initiative in Cote d’Ivoire in early 2014, working with local partners to research the existing human rights and advocacy context and conducting a needs assessment of advocacy and services for MSM. The needs assessment has just been completed, and a regional Speaking Out training including Cote d’Ivoire will be held later in the year.

In Ecuador, the MSMGF provides technical support to local grassroots organizations Kimirina and Equidad through the Bridging the Gaps program.

With technical support from the MSMGF, Kimirina and Equidad have designed and distributed leaflets on LGBT health information to clinics throughout Ecuador, as well as conducting public campaigns and flash mobs to increase visibility of LGBT issues among the broader community.

The MSMGF has partnered with Asociación Solidaria para Impulsar el Desarrollo Humano ASPIDH-ARCOIRIS in El Salvador to tailor and implement the Speaking Out training during the third quarter of 2014. The program will train 25 MSM and transgender activists from El Salvador. Trained participants will develop local grassroots advocacy initiatives to implement them in their own communities.
Ghana is the most recent country to join the Speaking Out Initiative. The MSMGF began work to implement the program in early 2014, working with local partners to research the existing human rights and advocacy context and conduct a needs assessment of advocacy and services for MSM in Ghana. The needs assessment is currently underway, and a national Speaking Out training tailored to the Ghanaian context will be held later in the year.

In collaboration with local partner Asociacion Kukulcan, the MSMGF has hosted numerous regional Speaking Out trainings for participants across the Central American region, with a total of 67 graduates representing Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Trainings have focused on documenting human rights abuses and developing strategies to prevent or mitigate future violations. Representatives from Honduras have gone on to engage politicians and political parties in dialogue on the inclusion of LGBT rights in the parties’ political platforms.

WATCH: Testimonials from Speaking Out: Honduras participant Javier Medina, Nicaragua participant Alfredo Ocampo Ortega, and El Salvador participant Edwin Hernandez.

The MSMGF provides technical support to advocates and organizations in Kenya through both the Speaking Out program and the Bridging the Gaps program.

With technical support from the Speaking Out program, participants have implemented an advocacy campaign to increase meaningful involvement of MSM in decision-making processes, conducted advocacy for mental health services for MSM, and hosted a meeting for MSM stakeholders across the country focused on prioritization of MSM in national HIV prevention strategies.

Through the Bridging the Gaps program, the MSMGF provides support to three local organizations to support their work with LGBT populations: Ishtar MSM Health and Social Wellbeing (ISHTAR), Liverpool VCT, Care and Treatment (LVCT), and Persons Marginalized and Aggrieved (PEMA). The MSMGF provided technical support to foster organizational development, strategic planning, and program implementation. In partnership with LVCT, the Bridging the Gaps program has supported organizational development for five additional MSM organizations: Minority Persons Empowerment Group (MPEG), Usawa Kwa Wote Initiative (Ukweli), HIV/AIDS People Alliance of Kenya (HAPA Kenya), Tamba Pwani, and Q-Initiative. Additionally, the program supports the strengthening of a network of MSM organizations in the Coast region of Kenya.

WATCH: Testimonial from Speaking Out: Kenya participant Peter Njane.

Through the Speaking Out program, the MSMGF has partnered with Helem and the MARSA Sexual Health Center in Beirut to develop, finance, and implement a Speaking Out breakthrough initiative entitled “Engaging Legal Decision Makers in Advocacy for Sexual Minorities in Lebanon.” The Speaking Out program has also supported development and implementation of a campaign to promote the sexual health rights of MSM among psychology students in Lebanon, aiming to reduce stigma in the healthcare system and develop a foundation to fight criminalization of homosexuality in Lebanon.
In Morocco, the MSMGF has partnered with Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS) to implement numerous Speaking Out breakthrough initiatives, including a national stakeholder meeting to convene UNAIDS, the Global Fund, and the Moroccan Ministry of Health to debate the Ministry of Health’s guidelines on MSM and HIV. The meeting included workshops for developing and funding a research agenda on MSM, developing and funding an anti-discrimination agenda for MSM, and strategies for redirecting and mobilizing additional funds nationally, regionally, and internationally for MSM programs in Morocco.
Currently, the MSMGF is working with a local consultant in Nigeria, who is conducting a need assessment of structural factors affecting HIV service access by men who have sex with men in Nigeria, through a desk research key informant interviews with stakeholders, including many local MSM organizations. The needs assessment will determine the feasibility of implementing the Speaking Out initiative in Nigeria in 2015.

As a founding member of the Community Leadership and Action Collaborative (CLAC), the MSMGF has provided technical support to civil society representatives of key populations in Tunisia to ensure meaningful involvement in the Global Fund’s New Funding Model.

In Tunisia the CLAC developed and delivered trainings for civil society stakeholders representing MSM, people who use drugs, sex workers, PLHIV and other key populations on the development of successful concept notes the Global Fund.

Under the Community Leadership and Action Collaborative (CLAC), the MSMGF is working with local partners from Uganda and jointly with the Global Fund, PEPFAR and UNAIDS to organize and facilitate a consultation for Ugandan key populations to discuss, collectively agree, and develop a plan with priorities for effective programming and implementation support.

In Vietnam, the MSMGF provides technical support to activists across the country, including representatives from Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, and Ha Noi. Trainings focus on planning steps for advocacy campaigns, working with the media, identifying decision makers, team building exercises, and working with networks and allies.

Following the first Speaking Out training in Vietnam, participants went on to establish a national network focused on the health and human rights of MSM. Additional participants secured support from Speaking Out to produce Waiting for the Wind, a short film focused on the lives of gay men in Vietnam and their experiences with discrimination, HIV, and sex work.

WATCH: Testimonial from Speaking Out: Vietnam participant Le Thanh.

Through the Bridging the Gaps program, the MSMGF has provided technical support to Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) to support training of healthcare providers according to needs identified by GALZ. This has included brokering relationships between GALZ and organizations in Southern Africa who have expertise in training healthcare workers, and providing materials and technical support for adaptation and training. In addition, the MSMGF has delivered training on survey research and is collaborating with GALZ on a project to investigate the health and human rights of GALZ members in four Zimbabwean cities.

Through the support of the Bridging the Gaps Program, GALZ lobbies policy-makers to promote integration of services for MSM in the government healthcare delivery system; and trains civil society organizations and members of the media on issues of human sexuality.