In order to spread awareness and change attitudes, SCOHD provides public education and training in Pondicherry and its nearby villages. This is an important part of SCOHDs programs since it is the social stigmas against LGBTQ persons that leads to the ongoing discrimination. We conduct public education for students, members of the community, law enforcement, and local decision makers in order to bring awareness and understanding to the lives of LGBTQ members.
Skill-building for members of the community
Since LGBTQ members are often discriminated against in the job market SCOHD Society has identified that individuals must diversify their abilities in order to establish a stable income. Through the use skill-building workshops we act to improve individuals’ knowledge surrounding specific fields that have higher rates of employability for members from the LGTBQ community. These different workshops focus on improving their skills in the areas of tailoring and other hand-crafts as well as vocational skill building.
Voluntary Peer Training
This is an open discussion that occurs monthly at our Headquarters in Pondicherry. The aim of the activity is to target those in the HRGs (High Risk Groups) in a safe and organized manner that allows for maximum education. The program is oriented specifically to a group of MSMs (Males who have Sex with Males) and transgenders in order to increase the rate of condom usage among key populations and to reduce the rate of infections for STDs/STIs. The topics that have been focused on in the past include “Sex and Sexuality”, “STI/HIV and AIDS”, “STI and its symptom’s”, “STI referral and Treatment”, “Condom Promotion”, and “Behavior Change Communication”.
This program attacks the problem of condom usage at the source of the problem – retailers. There has always been a social stigma attached to purchasing condoms that has resulted in an incredibly low rate of condom usage especially in the LGTBQ and MSM communities. This activity aims to increase the number of retailers that stock condoms as well as increasing the diversity of the stock (different sizes, flavors, and condoms meant specifically for anal sex).
Three retailer trainings have been conducted within the last year. The locations were carefully selected by the Outreach Workers (ORWs) and Community Health Education teams and included both traditional and non-traditional retailers.
The training consisted of:
Training all the retailers
Motivating retailers to stock the correct condoms
Knowledge of the dual protection role of condoms
Retailer knowledge of product features (right method of storage at retail)
Outlets and quality aspects to be looked into while purchasing condoms from stockiest/company.
Ability of the retailers to display condoms or condom related promotional materials stores