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A fruitful week with Stonewall

PINK and Stonewall UKPINK initiated its 2014-2016 Strategic Planning by the end of 2013. Later this year, on February 17-21 another workshop was held in Yerevan with facilitators from Stonewall UK– Associate Director Caroline Ellis, and Senior International Officer Jasmine O’Connor have come to PINK in order to help us to finalize our Strategy. The meeting was supported by UK Embassy in Armenia.

Stonewall is a lesbian, gay and bisexual rights organization based in the United Kingdom, which focuses on working with organisations to bring equality and to address the needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual people at home, at school, at work and in wider society. Stonewall also offers advice and support to over 650 organisations.

Stonewall is an inspiring organisation, which has come a long way, from struggling against Section 28 of the Local Government Act in 1989 that prohibited the promotion of homosexuality, to forming partnerships with organisations outside Parliament to ensure the rights and needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are addressed in the wider community nowadays.

Being and coming from different cultural backgrounds and surroundings, Caroline and Jasmine did not just tell about their experience of working with LGB people, but also helped us to explore, enable and achieve PINK staff and volunteers to reach our true potential and to prioritize the work to be implemented.

During one week of workshop Stonewall and PINK worked on the strategy of the organisation, on specific elements which would contribute to the LGBT movement and community empowerment in Armenia. A meeting took place after assessing actual and potential allies. The allies gathered with community members and PINK staff which gave an opportunity to define in what ways are the allies willing to contribute to the activities of the organization and to the wider movement, what do allies expect us to do as an organisation, and what do we expect from our allies.

Anything is possible! A devoted and well planned work will do it! This is what we have concluded as a result of one of the activities conducted. Imagining a perfect situation, where one should not consider any difficulties in a way to reach the goal, and developing a list of activities and expected results, and after, considering from that list, what is more feasible is to conclude that with time and efforts there will be change. Thanks to Stonewall for inspiring and empowering us to go on with the work that we’re doing, for pointing out that PINK has many reasons and achievements to celebrate!