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As part of our COVID-19 Trans Resilience Campaign, APTN will be highlighting some of our COVID-19 Community Support Fund partners who have stepped up to provide vital support to the community during the pandemic. Read below about our second organisation and how they are navigating the challenges of the COVID pandemic to continue the important work they do.

Name of Organisation:

Have Only Positive Expectations – HOPE

Where we work:

Lahore, Pakistan.

Who we support:

Primary: People with divers Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC), Women, Female Sex Workers (FSW), People Living with HIV Secondary: Person living with disabilities

What We Do.

HOPE seeks to contribute to the wellness of SOCIESC-identifying people in Pakistan through community-based research, movement building, reporting on Human Rights violation cases and legal/financial assistance. HOPE provides its community with services like safe and informed access to hormones, subsidized therapy, medical referrals, and substance use/abuse support groups. Currently, HOPE has been working extensively on mental wellbeing for members of the local community. During the course of the last two years, HOPE has been providing the community with mental health resources including subsidized & free therapy with a licensed counsellor, and support groups that tackle everyday issues such as substance use and living with family.

Why We Do It 

Our aim is to create a society free from prejudice, where human rights of all people regardless of their body, gender, or sexuality are protected. 

The three most pressing issues facing Trans people during COVID-19 in your community?

  1. Mental health and access to physical healthcare facilities. 
  2. Domestic Violence
  3. Starvation as lockdown has limited people into their residential places.

What we did with our grant from the Community Support Fund

In total, 109 trans people have received support from HOPE. 28 people received duplicate support, including financial support to address emergency needs, provision of rent for those whose income has been impacted by the virus, and living expenses such as food and personal protective.  We were also able to provide psychological support to four people experiencing stress and psychological issues- they received support from our in-house therapist. Finally, due to this COVID crisis there is a huge number of people reaching out to us for hormones, so we were able to support both trans men and trans women to receive four months of hormone therapy.

Photo Description: A group of community member’s hands reaching to receive food packages

What were some of our challenges? 

There were many challenges. The price of personal protective equipment was very high due to the increase in demand, this meant that we were unable to purchase as much as we need for the community. It was difficult to purchase bulk food items as their availability in the markets were also reducing due to high demand, low supply and increasing cost. We also found reaching our community to deliver support was very challenging especially to those who were a great distance away, as lockdown and movement restrictions made it difficult for us to travel. While we received three emergency grants during this time, it was not enough to support all those who were in need. 

Access to hormones was also very challenging, Testosterone especially was not available due to lockdown and supplies from India were not reaching. We were able to provide ten people with hormone support but they were not able to attend health care facilities for clinical follow up and monitoring. 

Photo Description: Preparing the food packages

What we are hopeful for…

We as an organization feel that we were able to support the people who were much in need and when you see people are happy and relieved, we get a sense of accomplishment as an organization. It also helps our community to get to know us as an organisation. 

Support and follow us here:

@hopecommunitypk on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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