Capacity Building for Ndabaga Sisters’ Organization (NSO), Staff, Allies, and Partners on Collaborative Partnership and Networking as a Strategy for Improving LGBTIQ+ Movement Building in Rwanda

Collaborative partnership and networking are essential strategies for improving LGBTIQ+ movement building. As the LGBTIQ+ movement in Rwanda continues to grow, it is important to have strong connections between organizations and individuals that are actively working to promote the rights of LGBTIQ+ people. By forming collaborative partnerships and networks, the LGBTIQ+ movement can become more effective in achieving its goals.

Group photo after the 2-day sessions

One way to form collaborative partnerships and networks is through events such as conferences and workshops. These events provide an opportunity for organizations and individuals to come together and discuss their shared goals and strategies. They also provide an opportunity to build relationships and share resources. By attending this workshop, LGBTIQ+ organizations and allies learned from each other and formed strong connections that will help them work together to achieve their goals.

Above: A cross-section of participants during the second day of the workshop

The training methodology of the workshop was participatory and interactive as it aimed to ensure that participants asked questions and shared their professional experiences.  The presentations were made in the format of a lecture in PowerPoint format. Brainstorming, sharing experiences, and best practices were also used during the entire workshop presentations.

Above: eft to Right- Selemani Nizeyimana ED of Hope and Care, Janvier Kayitare ED of Bright Future Organization, Laura Mack Grants Coordinator at the US Embassy, and Josine Umuhoza ED of Health and Equal Rights in a group activity discussing how can development partners e.g Embassies and other Affiliated organizations contribute in strengthening networks and partnerships between LGBTIQ+ CSOs and NGOs in Rwanda.

LGBTIQ NGOs and CSOs (civil society organizations) face a number of challenges when attempting to create partnerships with other partners. These challenges can range from a lack of resources and financial support to a lack of trust and transparency, a lack of legal registration and recognition, a lack of a common voice and unity as well as stigma and discrimination.

The participants also explored the solutions to these challenges which were Raising awareness on SOGIE, building strong, networking and collaboration, raising self-awareness and capacity-building initiatives, advocacy on legal rights and engagement on legal entities, and conflict resolution and management mechanisms in place.

Above: Left to Right -Løvgren, Rose Munyengango- Development Advisor for iPeace – Initiatives for Peace and Human Rights Rights Based Program, Astherie Iribagiza ED of Ndabaga’s Sisters, Assumpta Maya Communication Officer of Amahoro Human Respect, Tina Mutaharugo – Talent Developer at Maish Nub and Juliette Batamuliza Finance Officer of NSO

In light of the workshop, it is important that LGBTIQ+ organizations receive similar workshops that could help strengthen their capacity, visibility, partnerships, collaboration, and networks with not only other CSOs but with development partners, Community Based Organizations, and Government institutions and authorities at grassroots levels.

This will also further advocacy initiatives for the LGBTIQ+ movement once members of the movement and community at large take the lead to showcase their capabilities and speak out on their challenges and how they would like to be helped. This will in the end create a strong LGBTIQ+ movement.  

Above: Right to Left- Grace Ineza Community of Action Facilitator, Richard Mugisha ME&L Officer at AHR, Egide Habinshuti ED of Thriving Inclusive Community Organization, Zachary Pairman Intern at the US Embassy and Fida Uwamahoro a human right defender.

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