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By Steeves Winner
LGBT advocacy organization Alternatives Cameroon organized a training session recently for some 20 LGBTI activists in an effort to link community groups to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the huge American program targeting AIDS.
Many community-based organizations do not understand how PEPFAR works due to language barriers and low participation of civil society organizations in Francophone Africa in PEPFAR activities. PEPFAR’s lack of collaboration with local HIV/AIDS civil society organizations is also a barrier.
The workshop aimed to improve community organizations’ knowledge of PEPFAR and its funding procedures. It was facilitated by advisors from Accelerated Support for Advanced Local Partners (ASAP), which helps local organizations access funds and win support from development programs like PEPFAR and the U.S. development agency USAID.
Participants were taught about the application process for local organizations and what to expect when working with USAID.
PEPFAR was established by U.S. President George Bush in 2003 to assist countries in the Global South in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. PEPFAR works with U.S. agencies, including USAID, CDC, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Labor (DOL), the Peace Corps and the U.S. Embassy. This year, Pepfar funding is $6.9 billion worldwide.
Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. Contact him at [email protected]