At full development of the Phase I of the RedTraSex project with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, we share some updates on what’s to come.
The project presented in Round 10 to the Global Fund, which aims to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among sex workers women in Latin America and the Caribbean through the strengthening of their organizations, is based on the first stage of implementation.
From the RedTraSex Secretariat, together with International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the principal recipient, it has been initiated a diagnostic measurement of the capabilities of the network organizations. The results of combined study work that is being developed with sex workers women in each organization will be the key to achieving the following stages of the project.
At the end of this time, in which together with a consultant, fellows ask about their needs and organizational strengths, from the RedTraSex Secretariat in person and distance training will be provided in order to strengthen the working teams and accompany each organization to work on his “weaknesses”. Thus it seeks to expand the capacity and resources of organizations of sex workers women, increase the quality of their interventions, improving the coverage of the target population reached and research on their work to raise awareness about the reality of sex work and HIV.
One of the first organizations to be visited was Unidas en la Esperanza (UNES), where its President, María Lucila Esquivel, was expectant on this new phase of the network and the project. “With this measure we can identify our strengths and weaknesses and work on them, allowing us to be prepared to plunge the commitments entailed by this project”, said to Corresponsales Clave, media that approached the organization to cover what was going on.
The results of diagnosis will be shared and worked in a workshop held in September in Lima (Peru) and two sex workers women will participate for each country. “From the report, we will be working together to develop a comprehensive building plan for each organization. Our first regional workshop will be an opportunity to disseminate the results of these reports and begin the process of developing plans to strengthen each organization”, said to the media Elena Reynaga, RedTraSex Executive Secretary, who traveled to Paraguay to accompany the fellows for this process.
«It’s a very innovative proposal, which aims mainly to political incidence and institutional strengthened, the fight against discrimination and against anything that violates sex workers women. I wish also to emphasize that this is the first written proposal from the perspective and needs identified by the fellows themselves so that we could say that is a project tailor-made, which makes us happy and makes us feel proud of what has been achieved”, said Esquivel.
Nine years ago was the International Alliance who relied on RedTraSex, as Elena Reynaga remembers. For the rest we “were not financeable” because of the stigma that existed towards sex workers women they argued that we would not know how to manage resources. “Today we can show the results of our labor. Many organizations today can see us as an example, and that’s the most wonderful thing we have: a job well done”, told Reynaga to Corresponsales.
The role of UNES will be key in the project since it will be the regional coordinator for the Southern Cone, while Orquídeas del Mar from El Salvador will be node of Central America and Caribbean and the Network of Sex Workers Women of Ecuador in the Andean region. “It’s exciting to know that your country will be regional node and we will work not only nationally but internationally. The challenge is great, anxiety and desire to start working and I know it will be a very good experience and hope to accomplish our expectations”, said the president of UNES.
Elena Reynaga was satisfied with the results of this capabilities measurement as she said to Corresponsales Clave: “UNES is the seed that I came to plant 8 years ago, and today is a great tree with many branches. That’s very comforting, is a joy deep see Lucila today, whom I met sitting on a park bench in Asuncion and now see it as a great leader, in whom we can delegate Network responsibilities. I see that everything was worth it and I am more than satisfied”.
Ending the interview, Reynaga called to reflection and unity: «The Global Fund is not eternal, at some point it will go and we must take advantage and make profound changes, we must achieve recognition of our rights and fight together, stay together. Because fights are won in the streets and rights earned working together”, that’s her call for unity of the society organizations to demand the government to respond to the needs and respect the rights of every human being.