A three-day training “LGBT Political Leadership– Myself as a Change Maker”, organized by Labris, Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute and NDI, in cooperation with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, was successfully carried out from May 23 to May 25, 2014 in Belgrade
This training was the first out of six planned training sessions, and has gathered twenty participants from the Balkans region. Training sessions are a first phase of a broader three-year project “Political Engagement of LGBT People – Training for Political Leadership” supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID ) and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
The aim of the training was to provide the participants with insight and background information on the role of LGBT persons as potential leaders in changing political realities and actors of the democratization of the society. Through various sessions participants have been provided with arguments for the importance of inclusion of LGBT persons in the processes of democratization, and have also been offered with examples of good practices that exist around the world, as well as examples of personal experiences of LGBT politicians in Serbia, including possible consequences and safety issues related to their political engagement. In addition, the participants had an opportunity to learn about leadership skills and political strategies, as well as ways to recognize the importance of good assessment of circumstances in relation to identifying possible means to achieve political change.
Training sessions have been tailored to meet participant’s expectations, including developing their personal and professional capacities, in relation to political, leadership and communication skills, as well as increasing knowledge about lobbying and advocating for LGBT rights. Six cycles of trainings will also be an excellent opportunity for networking with other participants from the region, while exchanging experiences.
The second cycle of trainings entitled “Political Systems in the Balkans” will be held in Belgrade from 21-22 June, 2014, during which participants will have an opportunity to learn from Christina Wilford, the regional director of National Democratic Institute in Ukraine, and an expert in the area of policy development and citizen’s advocacy.