After many discussions with members of the community, we understood that long-term systematic help would be needed to increase the livelihood opportunities provide to them. They would require consistent support to develop new skill sets, increase their self-confidence and pursue new livelihood options. They would also require help in creating links to information, resources, credit, markets, and so on.
We seek to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities that empower, and are shaped by the skills and aspiration of, these communities. To do this we would seek inputs from professionals in the field and increase our knowledge of sustainable livelihood models and the opportunities available to further this. We will also support, and draw thereof, from other organisations that are engaged in these fields and share similar values.
The fellowship will support beneficiaries through financial support, backed by links with experts (in terms of broad business ideas and domain expertise) and mentors who serve as sounding boards for ideas and offer psychosocial support.
There are many community leaders who are inspired and committed to bringing about change, but they have not had the chance to develop their ideas and approaches. Further, grassroots activists are increasingly frustrated by the lack of focus on human rights and social entitlements, and an overemphasis on narrow HIV service provisioning.
Activist fellowships provide financial, emotional, social, and intellectual support. They support a group of such change makers and provide them with the freedom to pursue their ideas, and to bring new voices into the movement to further advance its agenda. The programme also provide a platform for emergent leaders among sexual minorities and sex workers with vision and concrete ideas for social change.