In a bid to share best practices with likeminded advocates on LGBTI rights H.R.F.R.A organized a consultative meeting with a crossection of stakeholders all of whom had interests in upholding sexual minority rights within the region.
Members from the Civis Society, Journalists and lawyers graced this consultative meeting airing out their views on the strides reached in upholding the aforementioned rights as well as pointing out the existant gaps that these minorities face in their daily lives.
Key to note was the stigma that exists more so in the rural areas where persons belonging to the sexual minority subset who face major challenges of inclusivity and acceptance in the society. A concerted effort was called upon each stakeholder to defend these rights and create mass awareness to the wider community with the expectations that these negative mindets and perceptios may ultimately change.
Human Rights First Rwanda Association carries out monthly outreach programs in the different sectors of Kamonyi district in a bid to educate and raise awareness in the whole society on the plight of the HIV/AIDS and on the rights of people with this disease.
Raising awareness and educating the masses helps change the negative mindset otherwise associated with the disaese and the people affected with it especially the women,
This monthly outreach programs are carried out by the staff of our organisation and the 3rd year law students of our partner university, the Kigali Lay Adventists University who benefit from the programs by getting exposed to the community issues and understanding better through putting in practice what they learn in school and helping the people in the community.
These outreach programs have gone along way in not only making people realise the HIV/AIDS is a disease lika any other and not a curse but also helped paved a way for the women living with this disease to live more freely in the society becuas they are now more confident to live among other without fear of discrimination.
The cultural mindset attached to Sexual Minority activities in Rwanda and the great lakes region reflects the general negative connotations and misperceptions as any other African state.
It has been realized throughout the course of the project, a major contributing factor to the stiga that LGBTIs face is lack of knowledge from the public and authorities. It is from this reason that all viable advocacy tools have to be employed to uphld sexual minority rights the role of the media is fundamental in this purporse.
Print and broadcast media houses were hence trined on the use of their journalistic skills to educate the masses on sexual minority rights and their inherent freedoms.Mass media especially radio is widely subscribed to by citizens is in this endeavour seen as a bridge between cultural beliefs and LGBTI rights.