The aim of Project EMPOWER is to empower MTH populations in the state of Manipur, and in Bhadrak district, Odisha so that they are able to exercise their basic human rights, access healthcare and other services, and improve their overall quality of life through accessing appropriate livelihood options. In Manipur, Project EMPOWER is implemented in partnership with AMANA (All Manipur Nupi-Manbi Association), a network of MSM and male-to-female transgender CBOs in the state which aims to develop as a Resource Organization for all MSM and male-to-female transgender populations in the north-eastern states. In Bhadrak district, Odisha, the project is implemented in partnership with Santi Seva, a CBO of MSM (called Maichiyas in coastal Odisha), male-to-female transgender and hijra (usually they refer to themselves as ‘kinnar’) individuals. This project is the outcome of two earlier projects implemented by SAATHII: Santi Seva Development Project implemented since 2006 and the AMANA Development Projectimplemented since June 2011. Project EMPOWER works with a multipronged strategy aimed at enabling Santi Seva and AMANA so that they, in turn, can lead the process of empowering MTH communities that they represent. Learning from experience, this project combines certain strategies for both the states, but also has some strategies that are unique for each state, as per local needs.
Strategies adopted may be summarized as follows:
- Organizational development through training, technical assistance and handholding support
- Non-formal and/or vocational skills development trainings
- Offering livelihood, social security and emergency support programs
- Advocacy and linkage building initiatives with relevant government departments and officials
The project period is from July 2012 to June 2013.
This project received financial support from American Jewish World Service.