New partners join PITCH Ukraine
New partners join PITCH Ukraine
To further strengthen the advocacy of the PITCH programme in Ukraine, three new community and faith-based organisations have joined at the start of 2019. LGBT organisations Alliance.Global, LIGA and faith-based organisation ELEOS Ukraine took part in the kick-off meeting in Kyiv at the start of April. As Anton Basenko, Country Focal Point of PITCH Ukraine explains: “After the mid-term review and the Aidsfonds and Frontline AIDS’s staff visit in 2018, it became apparent that additional community- and faith-based organisations could contribute to strengthening our advocacy activities in Ukraine. We are therefore thrilled to have them on board.”
PITCH warmly welcomes Alliance.Global, LIGA and ELEOS Ukraine to its international network of activists and community-based organisations and is looking forward to a successful collaboration in the coming years.
About Alliance Global
Alliance Global is the largest MSM organisation in Ukraine and works in10 regions. Its main activities focus on outreach/social work, HIV/STI testing and prevention, development of community centres for MSM and regional advocacy for access of vulnerable groups to health and social services.
By joining PITCH, Alliance Global aims to strengthen regional networking between MSM communities, especially young LGBT. Joining the programme is also complementary to their current projects and programmes, which are funded by the Global Fund. In addition, their leader represents the MSM community in the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM).
The other partner, LIGA, is actively working on HIV/STI prevention among MSM and LGBT, and LGBT rights lobby and protection. Within the PITCH programme, LIGA will cover Odessa region. Odessa city is part of the UNAIDS Fast-Track Cities initiative to accelerate and attain HIV prevention, treatment and zero stigma targets. Like Alliance.Global, LIGA is also part of the National MSM Consortium in Ukraine.
With the support of PITCH, LIGA is committed to opening a community-based clinic (MSM and LGBT) Men’s Health Link; building a legal framework to access state funding for its activities; working with the local media to create a friendly environment towards LGBT in smaller towns and regions and representing the voice of communities towards decision-makers in Odessa region.
About ELEOS Ukraine
In Ukraine attitudes within society towards LGBT and drug users become increasingly negative. Together with the country’s transition from donor to government funding for health-related services, ELEOS Ukraine is a valuable advocacy ally. They bring an extensive network of influential religious leaders and churches in the country that will be a valuable contribution to PITCH in Ukraine.
ELEOS Ukraine, a faith-based organisation, is committed to solving social problems without any kind of discrimination. They connect non-governmental organisations, religious communities, and the public sector to help disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups (e.g. drug users and people vulnerable to/living with HIV). The head of ELEOS Ukraine, Father Sergii Dmitriev is also a member of the CCM.
Through the PITCH programme, ELEOS Ukraine aims to boost its advocacy efforts towards the ratification of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe. The goal of the convention is to fight violence against women and domestic violence. Apart from that, the organisation is set to decrease discrimination against drug users receiving harm reduction services.