3. An Assessment of GALZ’s role in development Programme.
3.1 HIV Prevention Project for MSM/WSW
As indicated before, one of the most important roless of GALZ is to assure the health and well-being of the LGBTI community in Zimbabwe. The overall goal of the HIV Prevention Project is to make a contribution to the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases transmission among MSM/WSW around Zimbabwe who seek help from the organisation or have been identified as people who need help.
GALZ Annual Report 2012 states that, “The organisation has seen a large number of young men and women between the ages of 18 to 24 joining the GALZ. In 2011, 200 young MSM joined the organisation in addition to the ...view middle of the document...
Despite a growing number of International donors GALZ still is unable to reach every single one of the people in need as much as the organisation aspires to as doctors and psychologists although gay-friendly do not provide their services for free. Also of note was the lack of a substantial number of young females within the organisation. Despite GALZ having a gender programme, it is still difficult to convince young lesbians and bisexuals to participate in activities.
3.2 Safe Spaces Project
The safe spaces project was initiated to provide education, advocacy and lobbying to increase awareness and self - confidence of the LGBTI community and to raise awareness in the community and in government on LGBTI issues. The projects goals were to strengthen the capacity of the organisation and its members to respond effectively and legally to homophobia. GALZ managed to successfully educate other organisations such as National Aids Council, Zimbabwe Aids Network, Musasa Project and SAFAIDS to incorporate homosexuality agendas in their programmes and literature. All of these organisations apart from Musasa Project have dedicated a reasonable portion of their time, resources and programming to assist GALZ in dealing with various issues that are related to their own projects. This role of building the capacity of other organisations to deal with issues pertaining to LGBTI is quite important especially to garner support and prolonged existence.
GALZ in its role to influence the public to seize physical and verbal homophobia attacks uses innovative ways such as community theatre to discuss and educated on “taboo” issues. This has proved to be a good tool to use as a way to start discussions that will engage people from all different walks of life. The organisation managed to secure gay friendly venues to hold parades, shows and other events however, due to fear of victimisation these events though very well thought of would not yield the expected results because human behaviour and fears can never really be measured or anticipated. Young people were not afraid to attend however; the older generation seemed to back off and prefer not to be visible in public participation.
Although GALZ has managed to intervene at local level for open spaces for the LGBTI community, there is no doubt that that goal has not been achieved. The community still faces persecution on a daily basis and members are unable to freely express themselves without being victimised. According to RadioVOP, August 13, 2012, “Police arrested 44 members of the Gays and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) at their Milton Park offices at the weekend.” The members were arrested whilst hosting a party. GALZ has not managed to influence Government to allow the organisation to exist, to hold meetings and gatherings peacefully and to operate without fear of victimisation. Albeit with an authoritarian Government such as Zimbabwe currently, any hopes of ever convincing the Government to accept...