What do the Russian proverbs "one in the field is not a warrior", "one by one we are weak, together we are strong" and "together we can move mountains" have in common? They all say that in unity and solidarity there is a force necessary to tackle existing problems of LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan.
And for this reason, there is a program in Labrys that builds and develops partnerships with other activist organizations and initiatives. The name of the program is Partnership and Initiative Development Program (PaIDP).
PaIDP is a program that aims to support, develop and strengthen initiative groups in Central Asia. It provides resource support to initiative groups and organizations by advising, sharing experience and building long-term collaboration with national and international partners.
PaIDP promotes cooperation and partnerships with community-based organizations working with sex workers, people who use drugs, people living with HIV, and other LGBT initiatives in Kyrgyzstan. By participating in meaningful community events and teaming up in joint actions or organizing events, we increase each other's visibility and become a step closer to creating a life without discrimination and stigma in society.
The Partnership and Initiatives Development Program highlights several areas:
Support and development of partnerships at the national and international levels. In this area PaIDP participates in and organizes events and activities with partner organizations, where relevant information is shared, about the situation and needs of different communities, in order to increase public sensitivity.
Solidarity with other communities is important because each community has people who are subject to intersecting forms of discrimination (trans*female sex workers, LGBT people with HIV, etc.) and whose rights are often violated because they belong to more than one community. By joining other communities and service organizations to support each other and act as one to ensure human rights in Kyrgyzstan, we are becoming stronger.
Acting as a Resource Center
This is an area for creating the necessary conditions and providing technical support (research, needs assessment, situation analysis, etc.) for initiative groups when they are based on the experience of Labrys and other initiatives/bodies.
The Resource Center is a form of association that provides support, development and capacity building for initiative groups based on their needs and requirements.
For Central Asian initiatives, Labrys is a resource center. At the request of LGBT initiative groups from other countries, PaIDP advises and shares the organization's experience. Labrys also acts as a fiscal organization for those initiative groups that cannot register and directly receive funds for their activities.
As mentioned earlier, communities are stronger when they are together.
And one of the objectives of the Partnership and Initiative Development Program is to unite the Central Asian LGBT movement into a single geopolitical region.
In this area, the Partnership and Initiatives Develops Program provides opportunities for exchange of experience and information among Central Asian LGBT organizations to build capacity and a common advocacy strategy to improve the lives of LGBT communities throughout the Central Asian region.
The importance of this area of work is that through solidarity and support we mobilize and form common agendas, from the Central Asian region, both at national and international levels.
Despite the fact that Central Asian countries have their own challenges and risks in promoting LGBT rights, the discriminatory situation in each of them is similar (in cultural and social terms, political environment, religious influence, etc.), and therefore, it is necessary to form a common agenda, finding common points of contact to strengthen joint work.
In conclusion, when we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, we are able to influence or change patriarchal, misogynistic and homo/lesbo/bi/transphobic societal attitudes and make Central Asian countries safer, fairer, with equal rights and opportunities for LGBT people and other communities.